The hotly contested competition to host the 2026 Gay Games has progressed. Overnight the Mexican city of Guadalajara, Munich in Germany and Valencia in Spain each progressed to the final round, while the Australian hopes were dashed when Brisbane failed to progress.

Held every four years, the games were most recently held in Paris in 2018, and will next year be held in Hong Kong.

Jason Davis, chairman of the board behind Brisbane’s bid to host the games this morning told Star Observer, that “The journey is not over for us, there is a lot of support for us to reboot and relaunch a bid for 2030 that has already been well discussed.

“The other vision we had from the very beginning was to create a legacy event that was going to be after the games, but we have decided to introduce that now anyway. It will essentially be a smaller regional Asia Pacific Games, and we will be announcing when that event will happen in the next few years. While this news today is disappointing, we are not giving up, and will press on building the regional event in the meantime.”

Davis added that the entire team working on the Brisbane bid wished “to thank everyone for their support and enthusiasm and we really want to extend a thanks to everyone who has been part of the process with us.”

The bidding process began in January 2020, with 20 cities at the time expressing interest in hosting the games. One notable exclusion from this most recent list was Brisbane which as reported by Star Observer last August was included among eight potential host cities. Also missing the cut were San Diego, Auckland and Toronto.

“FGG (The Federation of Gay Games) wishes to thank all eight bid cities who truly put forth wonderful bids that illuminated the Federation’s principles, and we look forward to continuing the process with these three finalists,” said David Killian, Officer of Site Selection.

 Organisers involved in the bid for Munich to host the 2026 event took to social media quickly after the announcement was made saying, “We are incredibly proud that we have achieved this important goal and congratulate the remaining two colleagues on this success.

We are sure that Munich is allowed to have justified hopes because we race the most beautiful city in the world; because the Olympic Park Games will be given a unique setting; because we will continue to fight for the success of the application with a dedicated and steadily growing team and because partners and sponsors are at our side, you can rely on them.”

However, the mood of other bidding teams was a little more sombre, with Bob Richardson, Toronto 2026 spokesperson telling The Canadian Press, “We’re disappointed we’re not moving forward. From 20 cities, shortlisted to eight and now three – we just didn’t quite make it.”

Pandemic-related travel restrictions allowing, site inspections will take place in June and July of this year, with the final vote determining the winning host city to take place at the FGG’s Annual General Assembly meeting in Hong Kong in November. A public announcement of the winning bid will the come sometime afterwards, once agreements and contracts are signed off by all relevant parties.

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