In our nation where there are so few LGBT people in professional sports, having a world Outgame featuring the best athletes from around the world seemed an amazing idea to the city of Miami Beach. So amazing that they invested $200,000 dollars in free advertising for the country’s first Out Game and directed city employees to do leg work on the city’s dime.
Imagine the city manager’s disappointment when he found out the event was all but canceled. Now Imagine the dismay felt by the competitors who found out their events were cancelled when they arrived in Miami to sign in.
The city is now looking into charging Outgames Miami with fraud.
There were warning signs according to the Miami New Times One day before the event was set to take place, Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales sent the City Commission a letter warning that the company running the games appeared to be in deep financial trouble. And this morning, most of the events were abruptly canceled, mere hours before the games were set to begin.
Event organizers sent this email to to swimmer Cyd Zeigler at out sports Friday “It is with deep regret that due to financial challenges, World OutGames must cancel opening and closing ceremonies and sports programming with the exception of aquatics, country western dance and soccer. The Human Rights Conference and cultural programs will continue as planned. We thank everyone who has supported the effort and apologize to those who will be impacted by this difficult decision.”
As of post time there has been no word on the 1/2 and full marathons planned for next week. A friend who alerted me to this catastrophe said that she wasn’t taking any chances and had cancelled her trip.
One Miami hotel stepped up offering free complimentary drinks, use of the sauna and a shuttle to a clothing optional beach.
An update this afternoon from Steve Adkins President & CEO of the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.