Organisers of this year’s Chicago Gay Games have come up with a new way to deal with an old problem.
Like many past Gay Games, the Chicago event lost money, announcing a $200,000 budget shortfall earlier this month.
But unlike previous events, the Chicago Games are refusing to close their books in the red.
This weekend, organisers will sell off everything from banners used in the Chicago opening and closing ceremonies to desks used by Gay Games workers, in a bid to break even.
They are hoping the unique memorabilia sale, promoted under the banner own a piece of Gay Games Chicago history, will help the event that ended in July into the black.
The question was always: Would we be able to break even without asking for a little money from the community? Gay Games spokesperson Kevin Boyer told the Chicago Tribune.
Of course we would prefer if we didn’t have to raise additional money, but we’re pleased it’s modest.
Gay Games leaders have also written to possible donors to try and raise an additional $100,000. They have already secured about $100,000 in donations.
Boyer said the Chicago Gay Games were on target to break even before an unexpected heat wave increased spending during the event.
These events have some wild cards in them all along, Boyer said.
You get a massive heat wave and ensure the health of the athletes, then let the dust settle.
Chicago’s $200,000 pre-sale loss is modest compared with the approximately $3 million of debts the 2002 Sydney Gay Games recorded when it went into administration.
Previous Gay Games in Amsterdam, New York and Vancouver also lost money.
Gay Games rival event Outgames, which took place in Montr? earlier this year, has not yet announced financial results.