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Sports: GAY GAMES WORKING WITH MONTREAL ON 2006 PLANS
2003-05-28

This article shared 2889 times since Wed May 28, 2003
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In an effort to ensure financial success for Gay Games VII, the Federation of Gay Games is working with Montréal 2006 to reduce the original announced plans from 19,000 athletes and 5,000 cultural participants to a number closer to that at previous Gay Games.

'We're pleased that Montréal 2006 has submitted a revised, downscaled budget to us,' said Federation co-president Kathleen Webster. 'Montréal is already far ahead of previous Gay Games hosts in terms of financial resources available three years in advance. However, after extensive discussions with the Sydney 2002 organizers, it was clear we needed to develop a conservative business model and not overreach to ensure the event's financial stability.'

As reported in the April 1 Le Devoir, Montréal 2006 has CAD$2 million in guaranteed aid from government sources. The City of Montréal has pledged use of its sports venues, an estimated value-in-kind contribution of CAD$1 million.

The Federation views the Canadian government support as a smart investment for great returns. The Australian Tourist Commission's estimated economic impact for last November's Gay Games VI in Sydney was at least AUD$100 million.

Montréal 2006 is currently basing its plans on 15,000 participants. That is similar to the number who attended Amsterdam in 1998. The Federation has agreed in principle to that number for Montréal's budget purposes although Sydney's widely-reported Gay Games deficit was AUD$2.2 million with about 13,000 participants.

Sydney organizers experienced the collapse of the Internet economy and a downturn in event sponsorship. Marketing challenges were a chief contributor to staff turnover within Sydney 2002. Federation officials said that, despite problems, Sydney's Gay Games was viewed as successful, being particularly remarkable for venue quality and the warm hospitality extended to participants.

North Americans make up the largest percentage of Gay Games participants. In 2006 it will have been 12 years between North American Gay Games so participation demand could be unprecedented.

With a metropolitan population smaller than Sydney's, Montréal will need the help and support of volunteers earlier than ever. That is particularly true since Gay Games VII is scheduled to coincide with Divers/Cité, Montréal's annual pride celebration.

Federation officials have encouraged Montréal to begin community meetings now, saying a lesson learned from Sydney and previous hosts was that it is never too early to garner public support.

See www.gaygames.com, or go to www.montreal2006.org .


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