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Boston Claims Cleveland Cheated in Getting 2014 Gay Games Award

Boston Claims Cleveland Cheated in Getting 2014 Gay Games Award

Oh, for God’s sake…

Boston Spirit Magazine writes a very lengthy “expose” in just how Cleveland didn’t adhere to the selection rules.  Highlighted portions are from their text; my comments are interspersed.

“What the Federation presented to us is that they wanted to grow and build their future and host the Gay Games in a strong city,” says Linda DeMarco, president of Boston Pride and one of the many volunteers who spearheaded Team Boston’s bid for the Gay Games. “I don’t think any of us involved in the process thought that Cleveland was part of the scenario.”

image Ever been there?  At all?  I have a news flash for you:  the river burned in the 60’s and alot has changed since then.  I think it’s a little arrogant of both DC and Boston to automatically discount Cleveland just because they didn’t think it was possible.  Gee: conceited much?  Wanna talk about your crime rate DC?  Boston: are people still cowering in fear 40 years later after the Strangler?  No?  Ok, then: let’s move on from a blighted past because neither of you have closets that are skeleton free.

NO doubt about it, Cleveland’s had it’s time in the spotlight as a dump.  Thirty years ago.  Obviously the FGG has seen past the poor history and INTO city’s turnaround or Cleveland never would have gotten their foot in the door.

Flash forward to current events:  city population is definitely down, and you don’t exactly see everybody driving around in a brand new Jaguar.  But the people that call the city home are just as fiercely proud as anyone in DC or Boston.

“At the end of the process, both D.C. and Boston said to each other that we thought we would lose to you,” remarks sports committee member Marc Davino, adding that it was Boston’s big-city attributes with its small-city charm that the group thought would win over the Federation.

The only small city charm I noticed was when my rental car was broken into and my laptop stolen.  Lotsa charm all right.

In the end, the site selection became more impressed in Cleveland with pledges and commitments of $525,000, so far, from the community, including actual checks “for $50,000 each” from “local business owners” presented to the judges during their visit.

Fact Check:  Another online periodical – from Boston no less reported that the city of Cleveland has already legislated $700,000 to support the organizers. With that and other hefty pledges from regional tourism agencies, Cleveland said it was prepared to start pushing hard to raise awareness of next year’s Gay Games in Cologne.

And this number is just from the city alone, and I took the time to reconfirm it.  Not even taking into account the local business donations from the community Cleveland came to the table with plenty of cash so let’s not act like they’re the poor relation coming to the back door for a handout.

Bidding city representatives were told that a 45-minute presentation time limit would be strictly adhered to. So the 14 Team Boston members rehearsed over and over, finessing, cutting, and reworking material with its professional presenters—including Kenneth J. Brissette, Chief Operating Officer for the Boston Office of Travel and Tourism, Wendell K. Chestnut, Senior Vice President for Global Commercial Banking at Bank of America, and Linda DeMarco, President of Boston Pride Committee—until the presentation fit in the time allotted and not a second more. Those present say that Cleveland’s report went much longer.

Again – from the same Boston periodical that details exactly how Cleveland won:

Everything Cleveland Synergy Foundation did made its bid stand out. Smaller, well-balanced budget, a local political community that was aggressively engaged, a decision by the group not to wear team shirts as Boston and D.C. did when they made their presentations, opening their session with loud rock, hugging each other on the stage with every microphone exchange — everything signaled that this was a group unlike any other.

“I think we were able to show ourselves,” bid spokesperson W. Doug Anderson said. “I think that may be what put us over the top.”

Boston’s message was “We’re Boston” and Washington’s message was “We’re D.C.”

Cleveland’s message was, “We’re not.”

Perhaps resting on your name recognition wasn’t the most well-thought out plan.  The same periodical above goes on to list that when each city had their Gay Games Rally both DC and Boston had a few hundred people show up.  Cleveland stepped up with 7000 people – of which I was one of them in attendance.

There are plenty of other bones of discontent in the Boston Spirit article, none of which will hold any water.  You can read them for yourself, and if their grousing doesn’t go away I just might take the whole article to task.  I’m in Ohio right now on vacation and in perfect position to interview all the key people.

I grew up in Cleveland, and even though I’ve spent more than half my life all over the world (and currently live in Chicago), I still family there who call it home.  Every city loses at some point in a games selection, and this time it was Boston and DC who get to go home empty-handed.  Cleveland heard the same cries of “foul” when we lobbied for the Rock Hall and we won that one fair and square too.  When we’ve lost to other things, we didn’t munch on sour grapes and say we got jipped.  We went home saying “next time….”  For the two losing cities to say Cleveland cheated is not only unseemly, it’s also not supported by fact.

Cleveland’s Gay Games Website for 2014 is here.

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One Comment

  1. Obviously the FGG has seen past the poor history and INTO city’s turnaround or Cleveland never would have gotten their foot in the door.

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