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GGVI bid comparisons: Skill-testing questions

With the Federation of Gay Games rendez-vous to award the host city of Gay Games VI roaring down the pike [when originally posted in 1997], I’d like to propose a list of candidate questions for all applicants generally and for each specific candidate. Feel free to distribute these as widely as you like. Candidate cities: Don’t say you weren’t warned.

For all applicants

  1. Diversity:
    1. What is the single best way to increase diversity?
    2. After four Gay Games events spanning 16 years, the level of participation by minorities and women has reached a certain point. What reasons are there to believe that significant numbers of new minority persons and women are awaiting recruitment into the Gay Games fold?
    3. What effect, apart from public relations, does a diverse Gay Games committee have on increasing diversity among the athlete corps?
  2. The Gay Games are centrally a sporting event. Can you explain why the Cultural Festival should operate from a common budget?
  3. Gay Games athletes and spectators have a very full week. Yet the Cultural Festival overlaps with the Gay Games. Should the two events be held over a staggered schedule?
  4. Political opposition: What assurances can you give us that you have anticipated the kind of public opposition the Games might attract? How will you handle, for example, a several-months-long campaign by a tabloid newspaper, a radio commentator, and high-ranking politicians opposed to the “degeneracy” of the Gay Games?
    1. How important is television coverage?
    2. Does the Gay Games become more real or more important if televised?
    3. What sort of sacrifices or concessions would you make to secure an advantageous TV contract?
  5. If the press ignore you, how will you get the word out about the Games while they are underway?
  6. Give a few reasons why all sporting events at the Games should not be sanctioned by international governing bodies.
  7. Gay-community fundraising:
    1. Exactly how much money does your committee plan to solicit from the local gay community? (The five bid cities propose to raise between $188,000 and $3 million from sponsorship and donations.)
    2. What percentage of your fundraising budget does this amount represent?
    3. Given that the best-established gay charities – AIDS organizations – have more or less maximized their contributions from the gay community, and given that the gay donor pool is limited by definition, why should we believe you will not exhaust an already strained donor source?
  8. What is the single best way to increase participation by athletes with disabilities, nearly all of whom are straight?

Questions for Sydney

  1. The venues proposed for Gay Games VI revolve around the Sydney 2000 Olympic bid. They would seem ideal – except that they haven’t been built yet. What assurances can you give that Sydney has sufficient backup sites to run a proper Games if the Olympic venues are unbuilt or unavailable? And given that the centralized, state-of-the-art venues are a substantial selling point for the Sydney bid, how can we be sure that losing any or all of those venues for any reason won’t throw the organization of the Games into disarray?
  2. A quote from the bid book: “The Games’ ideals and prominent sporting participants will be used to contrast the elitism of the modern Olympics and to gain coverage in the run-up to Sydney’s Olympic Games in 2000.” What does this mean, exactly? That Sydney 2002 will use the growing publicity for the Olympics to point out the elitism of the those Olympics?
  3. Sydney is in an unprecedented position to reopen dialogue with the IOC and start a meaningful dialogue with the International Paralympic Committee. When will those discussions start, and where do you think they will lead?
  4. Who is the out-of-the-closet former Australian national wrestling champion?
  5. Also from the bid book: “This will set the scene for the first Gay Games in the Southern Hemisphere, a Games where international inclusion is embraced.” Do you believe that previous Games have been parochial or nationalistic? What makes your committee so different that you can achieve “international inclusion” where previous bidders haven’t?

Questions for Dallas

  1. How will you persuade doubters to set aside their reflex reaction to the idea of hosting the Gay Games in Dallas – that Dallas is a scorching redneck city and a pale imitation of a major world capital?
  2. The bid book isn’t clear on the number of athletes anticipated. What’s the estimate you’re sticking with?

Questions for Montreal

  1. The only language with full legal protection in Quebec is French. Most Gay Games participants speak English. How can we trust Montreal to provide services in English and, secondarily, in other languages beyond French?
  2. Montreal is a divided community, yet the bid committee is entirely francophone. Why should we believe that the committee will be able to recruit significant anglophone employees and volunteers?
  3. What would the committee’s reaction be if the top three positions were held by anglophones?
  4. Why is there only one woman on the Montreal committee as presented in the bid book? Given the schisms between gay men and lesbians in Montreal, why should this provide assurances that the commitee will attract significant numbers of women to the Games and to the committee itself?
  5. The Games will have been held in three countries by 2002. How would awarding the Gay Games to Montreal “help the Federation expand internationally”?
  6. Has Montreal actually hired an executive director?
  7. You had discussions with the Canadian federal government, which resulted in some federal-government support. What, as far as you know, explains why Montreal received this support and Toronto didn’t? (Don’t dodge the question.)

Questions for Toronto

  1. Explain why Toronto should be awarded the Games when it plans to enforce a policy of gender and minority parity in its organizational committee. Explain how this policy assures better performance for the money. Explain also how the policy will not drive up costs. (Does Toronto propose paying two staff half as much as one person?)
  2. The budget predicts raising 2/3 to 3/4 of the budget before the Gay Games. Explain how this could not happen even without special effort.
  3. Where will the $500,000 in startup funds, earmarked for December 1997 to April 1998, come from?
  4. Are “venue clusters” merely a euphemism? Isn’t it true that the “venue clusters” are fictions of terminology, a means of downplaying the vast distances between the clusters?
  5. The committee appears to have a two-tier marketing philosophy – ethnic communities will be farmed out to members of those communities in Toronto (mostly volunteers), while marketing to everyone else will be hands-on by Toronto staff. Explain how this makes any sense at all.
  6. What, as far as you know, explains why Montreal received federal support and Toronto didn’t?
  7. The bid book discusses Ontario’s gay-positivity and assumes no assistance from any level of government. What happens if the provincial and city governments actively oppose the Games, particularly in statements to the media?
  8. The bid book speaks of a legacy program making use of profits from the Games, but why doesn’t the legacy program strongly and clearly emphasize sports?
  9. The committee plans to spend $200,000 on travel, which buys a lot of flying, particularly since American Airlines is certain to offer discounts. Where does the committee plan to travel with this money?

Questions for Long Beach

  1. Should the Gay Games turn a profit?
  2. If you were contractually prevented from spending $3 million on security and from courting Hollywood stars, how would your personal commitment to the Gay Games change?
  3. Why do the plans for a Diversity Park ignore sports? Isn’t a Tom Waddell Sports Centre a more appropriate legacy?
  4. Why should a Waddell Foundation be instituted if it does not strongly emphasize sports?
  5. Give an accurate, consistent estimate of numbers of participants.
  6. Why are only 6,000 total medals foreseen?
  7. Name five possible “female bands, vocalists and dance performers” for the Beach Babes/Women’s Summer White Party party.
  8. Quote from the bid book: “Accommodations for all is our goal. No one will be denied the opportunity to visit or to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime event.” Is the committee planning on free or heavily-subsidized housing?
  9. Explain how a “separate but equal” medical system for people with AIDS is compatible with 20th-century concepts of medicine or ethics. Explain how it will serve and not stigmatize PWAs.
  10. Why is there no committee member specifically assigned to sports?
  11. With so much of an emphasis on security – vastly in excess of all the other bids put together – why should the Gay Games go to you?

Posted: Circa December 1997 ¶ Updated: 2009.03.01

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