A site selection committee from an international sports organization will visit Denver next month to assess whether the city will be able to host the 2015 North American Out Games, organizers said.
The North American chapter of the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association will tour the Mile High City the weekend of May 5.
“This is the next big step in a long process,” said co-chair of the bid committee R. Tony Smith.
Denver is the sole finalist, but Team Colorado, the organization behind the bid, must prove to the site committee they can raise the money and host the event that would draw thousands of LGBT athletes from around the continent. In conjunction with the sporting events, Team Colorado must also host cultural events and a human rights forum.
“I’m starting to hear ‘we got this,’” Smith said. “But we don’t know that yet.”
Smith said Team Colorado is busy doing its homework and partnering with other organizations that will hopefully assist in the actual games come 2015.
Visit Denver, an organization that works with others to promote and coordinate conventions, is more optimistic.
No other city in the world can host sporting events like the Out Games, said Visit Denver spokesman Rich Grant.
“Denver has positioned it self as the greatest sports city in the world,” Grant said. “This is just another opportunity for us to showcase Denver.”
Grant said Colorado and local LGBT business will be the winners. The average convention usually pumps an additional $2,000 per person into the local economy. But Grant said that might be more for a larger event like this that will attract worldwide participation.
Grant said Visit Denver has two committees that will help organize the event, one for sporting events another for LGBT events.
The visit will consist of trips to key Denver sights as well as cultural, lodging and sporting venues, Smith said. The site selection committee will determine which venues they’d want to see.
“These will be very intense meetings,” Smith said. “We’re going to be asked a lot of questions from the site committee.”
A public reception for the site committee will be May 6 at 5 p.m. at Hamburger Mary’s.
Smith said if Denver is awarded the North American games, that won’t stop the organization from promoting the event to worldwide. The 2014 Gay Games will be held in Cleveland and Smith said Team Colorado will use that event to promote theirs.
Team Colorado will be notified by the end of May if the city has been chosen to host the games, Smith said.