The Chicago media treated the recent “Gay Games” as if it were a serious sporting and cultural event, but few spectators showed up to watch. Writing for Illinois Family Institute, I called the “Games” a flop. Now we learn that despite all the hype and corporate subsidies (and free publicity), the “Gay Games” was a financial flop, too. Click on the links in the story below for photos and local coverage of the event from June.–Peter LaBarbera
Excerpted from Gay Games Plans Final Event, by Joel Nosh, published Oct 12, 2006, in Chicago Tribune:
Paraphernalia sale intended to help eliminate shortfall
… With a $200,000 budget shortfall on an event organizers predicted would at least break even, everything must go.
By shedding these assets and soliciting donations, organizers who ran the Games on a $10 million cash budget say they will get back to zero or maybe even generate a slight surplus by the spring.
…[Kevin] Boyer said letters were sent to potential donors two weeks ago in an effort to raise $100,000. Another $100,000 has already been pledged in matching funds, he said. More money will come in from the sale of thousands of items large and small later this month.
The 2002 Games in Sydney and 1998 Games in Amsterdam both finished more than $1 million in the red. The 1994 New York Games declared bankruptcy with a $350,000 shortfall, and the 1990 Vancouver Games ended $100,000 in the hole.
In each case, local governments, businesses or both absorbed the ultimate financial blow.
…Gay Games organizers have been chipping away at their debts, Boyer said, and getting creative when able. Equipment has been accepted in place of cash, and in some cases they have asked for bills to be lowered or forgiven.
Chicago Park District spokeswoman Jessica Maxey-Faulkner said the Gay Games has given $17,000 of equipment, including softball equipment and fencing, to chip away at its balance. Gay Games, which still owes nearly $30,000, also has been sending in money on a payment plan, she said.
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