Valencia won the bid to host the Gay Games 2026 for a variety of reasons, one of which was undoubtedly a beautiful video that said it all.
The Gay Games will be held in Valencia in 2026. The Federation of Gay Games made this decision last week in Brighton (UK). The Valencian capital, which was competing in the final phase with Munich (Germany) and Guadalajara (Mexico), will take over the event from Hong Kong, which will host it next summer. The Games will last 12 days (between May 27 and June 7, 2026) and will include 36 sports and 11 to 15 cultural events.
This decision marked the conclusion of a lengthy bidding process in which all relevant government and private organisations participated, led by the non-profit organisation Valencia Bid City Gay Games 2026 and Visit Valencia.
Hosting The Gay Games 2026 will not be as substantial as hosting the Olympic Games or the Soccer World Cup, but it will be a significant manifestation with a meaningful effect. According to estimates, the event will draw up to 15.000 participants and nearly 100.000 visitors. The financial impact of the previous Games, held in Paris in 2018, was €100 million, and the Valencia games are expected to bring in €120 million. Only a quarter of the participants in Paris were from France, which highlights the enormous international scope of such an event.
Valencia was an excellent choice for a variety of reasons, the most important of which was that it was a secure and interesting location for such an event. However, the bid would not have succeeded without a strong campaign to back it up. One of the most effective aspects of the campaign was a promotional video that emphasised why Valencia should host the Gay Games 2026. It is one of the most insightful videos produced by the local government to date, and it is well worth watching several times.
Produced by Visit Valencia and featuring artist Rigoberta Bandini with her latest hit, song “Perra,” it uses some of Valencia’s most famous brands (Fallas, oranges, Albufera, Huerta, City of Arts and Sciences, Paella,) in combination with sport images to demonstrate how rich in culture and colour Valencia is.
The Gay Games are a four-year international sporting and cultural event, one of the largest in the world. Its main principles are participation, inclusion, and diversity.
The Games, which began in 1982, welcome athletes of all sexual orientations, races, gender identities, sex, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political beliefs, athletic or artistic ability, age, physical challenge, or health status. The Games provide a safe environment for LGBTQ+ participants and are open to anyone over the age of 18. Typically, approximately 10% of participants are not gay.
Prior to Paris, the games were held in Cleveland (2014), Cologne (2010), Chicago (2006), Sydney (2002), Amsterdam (1998), New York (1994), Vancouver (1990), and San Francisco (1990). (1986 and 1982). The next Gay Games will be held in Hong Kong in 2022, followed by the Gay Games 2026 in Valencia.