Gay Games Receives Record Number Twenty Host City Bids For 2026

A record number 20 cities across the globe have expressed interest in hosting the 12th Gay Games in 2026, the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) announced last week.

Paris 2018 Gay Games Opening Ceremony (Wikipedia)

Paris 2018 Gay Games Opening Ceremony (Wikipedia)

The organization started a bid process in December with a request for information (RFI) campaign before releasing a long-list of prospects Saturday that includes cities from 14 countries and six continents.  Six groups have submitted proposals from the United States, two from South Africa and one from each of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan and the United Kingdom (details below).

The site selection officer of the Gay Games Dave Killian said “We are extremely delighted to have received this record amount of interest for the Gay Games.”

“The excitement of 20 cities from 6 continents shows that countries want to not only welcome diverse communities to their cities but also want to be a place of community and connectedness for all people.

The Gay Games was conceived by Olympic decathlete Tom Waddell as a way to
empower thousands of LGBTQ+ athletes and artists through sport, culture, and fellowship.

The Games were first held in San Francisco in 1982 and most recently in Paris in 2018.  The next Games will be staged in Hong Kong in 2022.

Seventeen cites had bid for the 2022 event with twelve of those applications originating from the United States.

Recently, major international multi-sport festivals have had difficulty attracting interest in hosting their events including the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Pan Am Games and others – mainly due to cost concerns.  The Gay Games have credited the high interest in its event to a positive economic impact.

Gay Games 2026 Long-List Of Prospective Hosts


Brisbane, Australia
São Paulo, Brazil
Toronto, Canada
Munich, Germany
Dublin, Ireland
Guadalajara, Mexico
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Auckland, New Zealand
Lisbon, Portugal
Cape Town and Durban, South Africa
Valencia, Spain
Taipei, Taiwan
Liverpool, UK
Austin, Fort Lauderdale, Minneapolis, New Orleans, San Diego and Seattle, USA

Citing results from the Paris 2018 edition, organizers claim the French capital enjoyed a total economic impact of USD $117.9 million with direct related spending of $72.7 million for food, lodging, entertainment and other related activity.

They further describe the generation of $45.8 million in local income which is equivalent to 1,429 full-time-jobs.

About 10,000 participants from 91 countries competed in 36 sport disciplines across Paris.

“These are the Games that change the world and the growing interest in participation, hosting and volunteering proves that,” Killian said.

The interested cities have now been sent a request for proposal (RFP) and will be required to submit a letter of interest by April 30, along with a USD $7,500 payment in order to considered for the host city election.

Bid books and a further $7,500 fee are due August 1.

Three shortlisted candidates chosen by an FGG Board vote will be revealed January 31, 2021 and full bid books along with a $15,000 fee will be due April 30, 2021.  Site visits will follow in July.  Final bid city presentations and vote for presumptive and alternate hosts will be held at a meeting in Hong Kong in November 2021.

The winning host city will be named only after official documents are signed in February 2022.

Bidding Process Timeline for Gay Games XII in 2026

(Source: on March 2, 2020)





Jan 31, 2020 RFI Available RFI document available. Bidders may ask for clarification or assistance in completing the RFI.
Feb 21, 2020 RFI Closing Date All Prospective Bidding Organizations have submitted their RFI document
Feb 29, 2020 Long List Announcement Long listed Prospective Bidding Organizations are announced
Mar 1, 2020 RFP Document Available The main RFP document is made available to Prospective Bidding Organizations that have submitted an RFI
April 30, 2020 Letters of Intent Submitted Deadline for Bidding Organizations to signify their intention to submit a bid for hosting GG 2026.


May 1, 2020 RFP Appendices Available RFP appendices available upon written request. Bidding Organizations receive user accounts

and have access to the dedicated online discussion and document sharing service.

May 31, 2020 Deal Memo Available Outline of main points in the License Agreement.
June 30, 2020 Request to Include New Sport Bidding Organizations may submit a request to include a new sport.
Aug 1, 2020 Primary Bid Book Due Deadline for Bidding Organization to submit completed bid book


Aug 1, 2020 Q&A Opening of first round of questions from FGG Assembly.
Aug 31, 2020 Request to Include New Sport Response Response to request to include a new sport.
Sep 15, 2020 Q&A Closing of first round of questions from FGG Assembly
Oct 1, 2020 Q&A Bidding Organization’s responses to FGG questions.
Oct, 2020 Annual General Assembly Information session at FGG AGA in London, UK
Nov 1, 2020 Q&A Opening of second round of Q&A
Dec 15, 2020 Q&A Closing of second round of Q&A
Dec 31, 2020 License Agreement Available Pro-forma License available.
Jan 15, 2021 Q&A Bidding Organization’s responses to FGG Questions
Jan 31, 2021 Short List Vote FGG Board and General Assembly choose three short-listed candidates
Feb 1, 2021 Q&A Opening of third round of questions from FGG Assembly.
Mar 1, 2021 Q&A Closing of third round of Q&A
Mar 30, 2021 Proposed License Agreement and Side Letter Short listed Bidding Organizations submit a signed License Agreement as in the of RFP, accompanied by a signed Side Letter.
Apr 1, 2021 Q&A Bidding Organization’s responses to FGG questions
April 30, 2021 Expanded Bid Book Expanded Bid Book due from short list Bidding Organizations


May 1, 2021 Q&A Opening of fourth round of questions from FGG Assembly.
May 31, 2021 Q&A Closing of fourth round of questions from FGG Assembly
June 15, 2021 Q&A Bidding Organization’s responses to FGG Questions
June/Early July 2021 Site Visits Site Visits to Short-Listed Bidding Organizations.
Sep 15, 2021 Site Visit Report The Site Visit report is available for the FGG membership
Sep 15, 2021 Q&A Opening of fifth round of questions from FGG Assembly.
Oct 15, 2021 Q&A Closing of fifth round of questions from FGG General Assembly
Oct 30, 2021 Q&A Bidding Organizations’ responses to FGG questions.
Nov 2021 Site Selection Meeting in Hong Kong Presentations by Short-Listed Bidding Organizations. Vote for presumptive and alternate GG 2026 host cities.
Feb 2022 Announcement of Presumptive GG 2026 Host Announcement made public only after FGG and Host have signed Proposed License Agreement and Side Letter, including any and all revisions/agreements reached during the Bidding.


About Robert Livingstone

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.