Cleveland Gay Games brings most revenue in event's history; profits to go to community funds

Associated Press

Last summer's Gay Games in northeast Ohio raised the most revenue in the event's history, organizers said.

The August event held in Cleveland and Akron raised $6.8 million in revenue, netting a small profit of nearly $150,000, said Gay Games 9 Executive Director Thomas Nobbe.

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Nobbe said at a forum held by the City Club of Cleveland on Thursday that $120,000 of the profits will go toward creating a fund at the Cleveland Foundation to continue to push for an inclusive and diverse northeast Ohio community. Another $27,000 will go to the Akron Community Foundation's existing Gay Community Endowment Fund.

Cleveland, a former manufacturing center on the southern edge of Lake Erie, and Akron, about 35 miles south, were hardly the first choice of the international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community when they were chosen in September 2009 over gay friendly locations Boston and Washington. Home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland has no identifiable gay neighborhoods, and its LGBT community generally keeps a low profile.

But Nobbe said the community came together and embraced the event, and organizers were committed to leaving a gift that would continue the legacy of the games, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported (http://bit.ly/1LkgV7a ).

Organizers credited generous corporate sponsors and responsible planning for the games' economic success. The weeklong event included 36 sports spread across 40 venues and attracted about 20,000 athletes and visitors.