“We are extremely honored that GLISA chose Miami Beach-Miami for the 2017 World Outgames. This is a major leap forward for our community,” said Bruce Townsend, co-chair of the Miami Beach-Miami Sports and Cultural League, the 13-member volunteer coalition that entered the bid on behalf of the cities. “This experience has been unbelievable for our team and we are grateful to represent Miami Beach and Miami for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are ecstatic about being able to showcase Miami Beach and Miami on this world stage.”
Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower and Vice-Mayor Michael Gongora, along with several members of the Miami Beach-Miami Sports and Cultural League, including Townsend, Ivan Cano, Cindy Brown, George Neary, Keith Hart and Jerry Torres traveled to Antwerp, Belgium this week for the selection ceremony. Prior to this ceremony, Miami was shortlisted with Reykjavik, Iceland.
Included in the Miami Beach-Miami bid were proposals to host a human rights conference, a diverse cultural program, a World Outgames Village, opening and closing ceremonies, and 30 sporting events. The event takes place every four years in a different city and lasts 10 days.
While Miami Beach will be the headlining city, events will be held throughout Miami-Dade. Lummus Park, Flamingo Park, Tamiami Park, the University of Miami, the Ransom Everglades School Aquatic Center and Miami Beach Convention Center were all presented as venues in the bid.
Miami Beach-Miami Sports & Cultural League members who presented the bid on behalf of the cities and the United State are:
· Ivan Cano, Co-Chair, Executive Director of Miami Beach Gay Pride
· Bruce Townsend, Co- Chair, Social Catering Sales Director-Centerplate at the Miami Beach Convention Center
· Jerry Torres, Treasurer-Secretary, Principal Stereo Entertainment
· Michael Gongora, Vice-Mayor, City of Miami Beach
· Steven Adkins, President & CEO of the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
· Bob Balsam, General Manager-Global Spectrum, managing company of the Miami Beach Convention Center
· George Neary, Associate Vice President/Cultural Tourism, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau
· Cindy Brown, Executive Director of the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens
· Nick Tierno, General Manger-Centerplate at the Miami Beach Convention Center
· Jose Sotolongo, Executive Director of the Miami- Dade Sports Commission
· Keith Hart, Relationship Manager-GBPS- American Express
· Richard Murry, President & Creative Director – The Murry Agency Public Relations & Marketing
· Karen Brown, Executive Director of the LGBT Visitors Center
The World Outgames is sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA) and takes place every four years in a different global city. Previous hosts have been Montreal and Copenhagen with the 2013 games slated for July and August this year in Antwerp, Belgium. World Outgames are open to all who wish to participate, without regard to sexual orientation, and all competitions are arranged according to the skill level of the athletes. Cultural and human rights components make the event a well-rounded experience for athletes and non-athletes alike.