Hong Kong has been shortlisted to host Gay Games XI in 2022, the world's largest sporting and cultural event organised by the LGBT community, but open to all participants.
Hong Kong would be the first Asian city to host the games. The other cities in the running to host are Washington DC and Guadalajara, Mexico. The Federation of Gay Games will announce the winning city in November this year. San Francisco and Los Angeles were among the hopefuls not shortlisted. The 2018 games are slated for Paris, and the 2014 edition took place in the US city of Cleveland, Ohio.
The estimated cost to host the games stands at US$7 million, with anticipated revenue of US$9 million, according to a statement released by Hong Kong's bidding team. The 10-day event is expected to draw 15,000 participants and 40,000 spectators, bringing in HK$1 billion in transport, accommodation, F&B and shopping if Hong Kong wins the bid, according to the organisation.
The city's bid for Gay Games XI in 2022 received support from sporting and commercial bodies such as Hong Kong Rugby Union, Run Our City, Lan Kwai Fong Group, and Pure Fitness Group, as well as goverment-linked bodies including University of Hong Kong, the Consulate General of Canada, Hong Kong Tourism Board and the Equal Opportunities Commission.
More than just a sport event, the Gay Games is a festival with a lineup of conferences, as well as arts and cultural activities.
Gigi Chao, a prominent corporate figure (she is executive vice chair of Cheuk Nang Holdings) who is an ambassador for the Hong Kong bid, said: “The Gay Games in Hong Kong will promote diversity and inclusion locally and regionally, as it will be the first time in Asia. Hong Kong will have the opportunity to showcase ourselves as an international, world-class city with a unique natural environment as well as a thriving efficient urban infrastructure.”