Bid aims to make Games pride of Brisbane
A packed Suncorp Stadium could host the opening ceremony and rugby matches as part of a bold Brisbane bid for the 2026 Gay Games.
After making a shortlist of eight finalists, the team behind Brisbane's pitch have submitted a 100-page bid book to games organisers, ahead of a vote next month to name a final three for an event expected to attract 12,000 competitors and an additional 30,000 visitors.
With Brisbane's bid for the 2032 Olympics back on after a COVID-induced slumber, organisers of the River City's Gay Games tilt are 'quietly confident', but they face stiff competition from a field including Auckland, Toronto, San Diego, Munich, Valencia, Taipei and Guadalajara in Mexico.
The official program features more than 30 fully-fledged sports while organisers are hoping to stage rugby and even AFL as exhibition sports.
Competition would be centred in and around Brisbane, with Suncorp, the Gabba, Chandler swimming complex and the 1982 Commonwealth Games hub of the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre in the mix as potential venues along with more boutique facilities such as the University of Queensland.
The bid would be for an October event, when venues are not booked out by the football codes or cricket.
South Bank would be transformed into a 'Games Central' hub for parties and other entertainment, while the event would also host seminars and conferences on topics such as inclusivity in sport.
The event would also generate a financial windfall worth an estimated $150 million to the economy, based on modelling from previous incarnations of the games.
Brisbane bid chairman and founder Jason Davis said he believed the shot was a genuine chance.
"We would say we were quietly confident," he said.
"There's a lot of things that work in Brisbane's favour and I believe getting the city's Olympic bid going again will only help us.
"It's an exciting time but also extremely nerve-racking."
Brisbane Lord mayor Adrian Schrinner said the bid had the city's full support.
"Brisbane is a fantastic city to host events and our success as an events city is progressing in leaps and bounds," he said.
"We are set on being in the mix to host the 2032 Olympics and there's a lot to do before then, including bidding to be the host city for other sporting events.
"I have given my full support to the Federation of Gay Games to hold their 12th iteration of the Gay Games in Brisbane in 2026.
"We will continue to bid to host this event and stand ready to support the games not only financially, but also by sharing our wonderful city with participants and spectators from all over the world."
Originally published as Bid aims to make Games pride of Brisbane