Limerick has been shortlisted alongside the cities of London and Paris to host the 2018 Gay Games. The shortlist, cut down from seven cities to three, was announced just after 4pm Irish time by the Federation of Gay Games in San Francisco.
“Limerick, you are a beaut!” were the celebratory words that coordinator John James Hickey tweeted earlier today, as the Irish team received the good news from California. Limerick’s bid is the first attempt by an Irish city to host the Gay Games, which welcomes participants to compete against each other regardless of skill level, age or physical challenge. The 2014 Gay Games are being hosted by Cleveland, Ohio in August.
Between participants and supporters from home and abroad, Limerick is looking to extend the traditional ‘céad míle fáilte’ – Irish for ‘a 100,000 welcomes’ – to between fifteen and twenty thousand people for the 2018 Games. The games, which would run for 10 days, are estimated to raise up to 60 million euro for the Limerick and Shannon region.
Limerick is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland (fourth largest of the entire island) with a population of about 100,000. Despite its relatively small size, Limerick has played its part for years in Irish and European sport, being the home of the Munster Rugby team, and with soccer pitches regulated by FIFA and UEFA as well as its title as European City of Culture for 2011. The Irish government have named it Irish City of Sport for 2014-2016, the first time a city has been given such a title.
Inspectors from the Federation of Gay Games will visit the final three candidate cities – Limerick, London and Paris – as part of the next step in selecting the host city for the 2018 Gay Games.
The team at Eile Magazine would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Limerick 2018 bid team in their progress so far in promoting Limerick and Ireland at such an international level, and we wish Limerick the best of luck for the remainder of the selection process!