2006 Gay Games®, Chicago Games, Inc., (CGI) the host organization for the event, announced this week that it has completed the post-Games fundraising and wind down process and that the 2006 Gay Games broke even. Such a positive financial result reverses a 20-year trend, having not been achieved since Gay Games II in 1986. CGI accomplished the result with 2 fewer years planning time than most Gay Games.

“We are extremely grateful to our many donors, sponsors, volunteers, partners and vendors whose commitment and contributions made today’s announcement possible,” said Tracy Baim, CGI board Co-Vice Chair and leader of the wind-down efforts. “Each deserves the appreciation of our city and the worldwide LGBT sports community.”

“We would like to extend special appreciation to partners Dick Uyvari and Joe La Pat, Chicagoans who significantly funded the 2006 Gay Games international scholarship program and created a Gay Games matching grant program to assist in the post-Games fundraising,” said Sam Coady, CGI Board Co-Chair.

After a heat wave and other circumstances increased expenses and created the need for additional fundraising, Uyvari and La Pat donated additional financial support. Uvyari is a long-time Gay Games supporter, having competed in six of the seven Gay Games. Other key post-Games donors included Fred Eychaner, Michael Leppen, and former U.S. Ambassador James Hormel and his partner, Tim Wu.

The Gay Games have always been a boon for the local economy. Nevertheless, the past three Gay Games host committees lost significant amounts of money, threatening the future of the quadrennial sports & culture festival. For the first time ever, the Gay Games also faced a competing LGBT sports event. Held in Montreal just one week after the Gay Games, that competing event’s host organization ended up losing several million dollars.


Chicago’s business model differentiated itself by dramatically increasing corporate partnerships, relying significantly upon volunteer professionals and pro bono services, establishing a sponsored worldwide marketing and media campaign, and outsourcing non-core elements to third parties.

The 2006 Gay Games themselves contributed $50 to $80 million to the local economy, with some estimating that another 10 years of positive LGBT tourism visibility will generate millions more dollars in the long term.