Online extra: Outgames
registration below target
by Roger Brigham
Despite an extended registration period that closed Monday, June 15, organizers of World Outgames 2 in Copenhagen said that the number of participating athletes fell short of their target.
Outgames CEO Uffe Ulbaek told the Bay Area Reporter that the final count on sports registrations was "around 4,400 people." Ulbaek said another 600 have signed up for the associated conferences and another 200 are expected to sign up before conference registration closes in July.
Originally the Outgames organizers had said they were expecting at least 8,000 registrants, but became more conservative in their projections as fewer than expected sign-ups came in during the slow economy. Ulbaek said that although four originally planned sports were cut – rugby, kayak, pool and shooting – the remaining 34 programs would go on as scheduled.
"Bottom line, right now everything is working very smoothly," he said. "The economic figures are in balance, which makes me really, really happy. All the cutbacks have been on the organizational side."
Budget figures and registration breakdowns by sports and geography were not immediately available. Information on the July 25-August 2 events is available at www.copenhagen2009.org.
The gay French Web site Têtu.com reported this week that World Outgames 3, scheduled to be held in 2013 in Antwerp, is already hitting a major financial roadblock. The sanctioning body, Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association, has asked for a deposit of 150,000 euros (about $209,500) by July 1, but the city and province, which have promised logistical support, say they will not put up the cash. The Belgian government has said it would be able to supply some money, but not before 2010.
Meanwhile, organizers of next year's Gay Games in Cologne say their early registrations for 2010 are ahead of projections with 1,400 so far from more than 40 countries.
The Federation of Gay Games will be sending teams for site visits to 2014 Gay Games bidders Cleveland, Boston, and Washington, D.C., in August, then vote on the host for Gay Games IX at its annual meeting in September in Cologne. The assembly is expected to approve a bylaw change before that vote to ease the previous attendance requirements for voting eligibility. Without the proposed bylaw change, half a dozen organizations (including International Frontrunners, the soccer, bowling and tennis federations, and two Canadian city teams) would not be eligible to vote for the next Gay Games host.
The deadline for applying for scholarship help to attend the Gay Games is August 1. Applications are available at www.games-cologne.de/en/scholarship.