Good Business. Good Policy: The Economic Impact of Hosting GLBT Sporting Events

By Place, Greg; Schmidt, Shawn | Parks & Recreation, February 2012 | Go to article overview

Good Business. Good Policy: The Economic Impact of Hosting GLBT Sporting Events


Place, Greg, Schmidt, Shawn, Parks & Recreation


In the present economic times, parks and recreation departments are searching for sources of revenue Interestingly, some communities have turned down revenue sources from a particular portion of society, a demographic considered "recession-resistant" and willing to spend its money even in tough times. This portion of society is the gay, lesbian bisexual, and transgendered (GLBT) community which continues to travel nationally and internationally to play in various sports tournaments, providing income to host communities. An example of this sort of community resistance occurred with the Gay Games hosted in Chicago in 2006.

The coordinators of the Gay Games were looking for a site to host their rowing competition. After the Games expressed its interest to the park board of a Chicago suburb, several, concerns were raised by park board and community members. These concerns included having the "flamboyancy" often displayed in gay pride parades coming to their community, not wanting to be drawn into a cultural debate, allowing the Gay Games to use their community as a "vehicle to demonstrate their cause" or to push asocial agenda and allowing possible HIV-positive athletes into their community.

Gay residents of this community expressed concerns that if the park board would not allow a gay sporting event in their community, how long would it be before gay residents themselves were no longer welcome in the community? In stark contrast, a number of gay and straight community members (including many young people) viewed the event as a way to enhance their quality of life. The park board initially rejected the proposal as some disputed whether the sexual orientation of the Games drove the negative response. A week later the decision, was reversed with a 3-2 vote of approval, recognizing the proposal was well-organized and met the criteria.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The issue seems to hinge on the true motivation of GLBT individuals to participate in sport leagues and tournaments. The concerns of the residents are unsupported, and some would say insensitive, if the GLBT participants are driven by the same reasons (sporting experience, social interaction, etc.) as non-GLBT individuals. However, if participation is driven by a chance to push a social agenda or find a mutually attracted partner, residents' concerns may have relative merit. Surveying GLBT individuals on their motivation for participating and the satisfaction they receive from playing in sports leagues and tournaments can yield answers to the controversy.

The Chicago Metropolitan Sport Association (CMSA) is the largest GLBT sport association in the country, with more than 3,500 members and featuring sport leagues in badminton, bowling, dodgeball, flag football, kickball, soccer, softball tennis, and volleyball. Many of the sport leagues will also host tournaments bringing in travelers from across the country to compete against other GLBT teams. In addition to Chicago, tournaments occur all over North America, providing various communities with income from such sources as field/court rentals, car rentals, and hotel accommodations. For example, the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (softball) lists more than 30 communities that host GLBT softball tournaments from Tampa to San Diego to Vancouver. Similar sites list communities that host tournaments for flag football, bowling, tennis, and other sports.

So why do GLBT individuals play in these leagues and tournaments? To provide some insight into the reasons, a survey of CMSA members was conducted and questions were asked of participants of a softball tournament hosted in Chicago. Many of those surveyed had previous experiences in sports, their last sporting experience prior to CMSA being in college intramurals (33 percent), high school sports (28 percent), or grade school (13 percent). Since the majority of the participants were in their thirties (42 percent), one may also ask why they had not participated in sport leagues since early in life, including why they may not have participated in opportunities provided by municipal parks and recreation.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Good Business. Good Policy: The Economic Impact of Hosting GLBT Sporting Events
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.