Both Los Angeles and Chicago have submitted their bids to the Federation of Gay Games to host Gay Games VII in 2006. FGG members have until Feb. 10 to submit questions to the bid cities, and we have until Feb. 20 for responses. March 1, the vote will take place.
The bid book is available for view upon request. For more information about Chicago Games, Inc., visit www.chicagogamesinc.org .
The bid book was available to the media starting Feb. 2. What follows are some key excerpts and points from the bid book, which followed the FGG's Request for Proposal guidelines on page length and content.
The first section gives an overview of Chicago 2006's view of the Gay Games mission and movement. Next up is the structure of the local organization's board, and the potential transition to a host organization should Chicago be awarded the bid. Chicago 2006 has 10 board members and three sports directors. Should Chicago be selected, the board would grow to 19 members, with the addition of at least three sub-boards for finance/fundraising, sports and culture.
The sports program was coordinated by directors Suzi Arnold, Sam Coady and Ted Cappas, with RFP sports coordinators Liz Valenti and Paul Oostenbrug. They worked countless hours during January to secure venue and operational costs for the 25 selected sports.
A total of 10,645 athletes and 1,355 cultural participants are projected, with four main 'villages' for activities: Lakefront, South Side, Evanston and Near West Side. The Evanston locations are centered around Northwestern University; the Near West area is focused on University of Illinois at Chicago; and the South Village includes Washington, Jackson and Sherman parks.
Other venues include some on the Northwest Side for bowling and track.
All athletes would pay the same basic registration fee (from $125-$195 depending on the year they registered), and each would also pay a per-sport fee ranging from $35 on up (with an average of $51).
What follows is a summary of the proposed sports program for Gay Games VII. Almost all of the venues and sports can expand participation numbers; these were starting numbers based on previous Gay Games participation as well as interest in these sports.
North Sports Village, 2,965 participants: Badminton 200, Diving 65, Ice Hockey 200, Racquetball 250, Swimming 1,500, Tennis 650, and Water Polo 100.
Lakefront Sports Village (3,030): Beach Volleyball 130, Marathon 500, Physique 250, Rowing 100, Sailing 100, Tennis 450, Triathlon 200, Volleyball 1,300. The Culture events for band and choral would also be located in this region, ideally at the new Millennium Park performance venue (expected to open in 2005) or at the Grant Park bandshell, if Millennium is not operating.
The University Sports Village (1,250): Basketball 350, Martial Arts 200, Soccer 500, Tennis 200.
South Sports Village (2,200): Cycling 250, Golf 200, Powerlifting 100, Softball 1,500, Wrestling 150.
And additional venues (1,200): Bowling 700 (primary location is Waveland Bowl), Figure Skating 100 (McFetridge), and Track & Field 400 (Hansen Stadium).
The bid book goes into great detail for each of the proposed venues, as well as how each sporting event will be run. Sports directors have been selected for most of the sports, and many of them have years of experience running tournaments and leagues in Chicago.
The next section of the bid book in on Opening and Closing Ceremonies and the Cultural program. Chicago 2006 is still working with city and private officials to determine which venue should be selected for Opening Ceremonies. Both Wrigley Field and Soldier Field (run by the Park District) have said they would donate the actual venue costs, but would charge for things such as security, tech support and cleanup. Depending on date availability (the Gay Games would be July 15-22, 2006), as well as costs, we will choose which facility is best for the overall event. Closing Ceremonies would likely be at the new Millennium Park, and medal ceremonies each night would be ideal at the new Greek columns in that park.
The culture requirements include just choral and band concerts as well as a Rainbow Run. We proposed the run to go through Chicago's ethnically diverse neighborhoods the morning of Opening Ceremonies. The additional cultural attractions during the Gay Games would all be planned for and paid for by other groups. Those who have stepped up to say they may run ancillary events and pay a fee for doing so to the Gay Games include the Reeling Gay and Lesbian Film Fest, the Hearts Foundation, Mountain Moving, and POW WOW poetry slam organizers.
The Civic Capacity section of the bid book details just how transportation-friendly Chicago is, to those who are travelling here (by plane, train, bus or car) as well as for those who are trying to get to the venues for Gay Games VII. The majority of the venues are on major train and bus lines and will be easily accessible for participants and fans.
The budget portion of the bid is extremely detailed in showing how 2004, 2005, and 2006 will ideally work. R. Sue Connolly, Liz Valenti and I spent many hours re-working and re-crafting the original Gay Games bid to eliminate any ancillary costs, but keeping a strong professional staffing component. There would be no full-time staff members in 2004, just consultants, but there would be nine full-time staff starting January 2005.
Much of the technology and fundraising is proposed as outside consultants working on specific projects and on commission for work done. This is critical to keeping overhead as low as possible.
The Licensing Agreement was included with our bid book, showing the FGG that we are serious about a quick timeframe on signing an agreement for Gay Games VII. In that Licensing Agreement, we spell out three payment scenarios for the FGG Licensing Fee. We selected Scenario A as our preferred choice, given its risk-share model, as well as its potential for a better long-term gain for FGG.
All of the payment options are based on:
— 12,000 total participants
— 2004: 1,200 or 10% register
— 2005: 7,200 or 60% register
— 2006: 3,600 or 30% register
In Payment Scenario A, FGG receives a $160,000 guarantee over three years, with the remainder of their fee dependent on registrations. They receive $15 for each of the first 1,200 registrants, and $25 each for the remaining. These payments are spread out and have a total of $448,000 if 12,000 people do end up participating. They can make more if more register, and they also receive a 35% share of the post-Games excess.
Scenarios B and C are variations on this theme, with B another risk-share (with less FGG risk), and C a lower risk to FGG, but for a lower return ($350,000).
The final proposed budget Chicago 2006 submitted uses Scenario A.
The expenses/revenue breakdown per year for the Chicago 2006 budget is as follows (and includes a 10% overall contingency and a 10% sports venue contingency):
2004: Expenses $425,271; revenues $457,476; for a surplus of $32,205. Expenses for the first two years include venue deposits.
In 2005, there are expenses of $1,607,903 on revenues of $2,402,350.
In 2006, expenses of $4,160,818 on revenues of $3,426,926.
Much of the expense side is related to actual sports costs. For example, if fewer athletes register, the venue and operating costs for the sport will decrease (fewer referees for example). There will also be benchmarks in place to make decisions on expenses before they are needed. If the revenue is not there, other options will be put in place.
The entire budget for three years is $5,630,356. Once the 10% overall and 10% sports venue contingencies are in place, the budget is $6,193,993, on revenues of $6,286,752. The contingency is high enough, we believe, to allow for a good margin of safety in case revenues are lower in some areas.
The revenues for the Gay Games plan include $2,986,752 from sports and culture registrations. This also includes a small amount of people who will buy 'badges' to get access to events.
Ticket sales (for the ceremonies, cultural events and a few of the top sports attractions) are estimated at $1,055,000, with most coming from Opening Ceremonies. In New York, for example, top-name entertainers helped sell out Yankee Stadium for their Gay Games ceremony.
Marketing revenue, from things such as media contracts, merchandising, and licensed ancillary events, is at $740,000 over three years. And Corporate sponsorships are listed at $1,050,000 for the three years. We have listed very little direct government cash support, at just $200,000 over the entire three years—and this would likely come from the convention and tourism departments. There are also small amounts listed from benefits, donors and grants.
Another portion of the bid book addresses local and worldwide marketing efforts. This would focus on marketing each sport and cultural event as part of the larger Gay Games movement, attracting past participants and new Gay Gamers as well.
And finally, the book concludes with a few of the many letters of support we have received from a wide range of groups. Thanks to those groups and the dozens of volunteers who helped work on this project.