Three Cities Vying To Host 2017 GSWS
The first day of the 2015 NAGAAA Summer Meetings came to a close on Saturday, but not before representatives from Phoenix, Portland and Tampa all stated their case on why their city is the best choice to host the 2017 Gay Softball World Series. The NAGAAA Executive Board travels to potential host cities once they put in all necessary paperwork to bid for a World Series. A rubric/scoring system is in place that generates a score for each city to help the delegation make a more educated decision on which city is the best choice. The scores do not choose the winner, the delegation votes to determine host cities. The scoring system will be mentioned as we go through each bid presentation, but remember that it is only a tool that delegates can use if they want to.
PORTLAND, OREGON – Progress, Pride & Play
NAGAAA Host City Bid Rubric Score: 195 out of 240
Potential Series Dates: September 4 – 9
Portland stepped up to the plate first after a random drawing for the presentation order. The presentation was presided over by former NAGAAA Commissioner and Portland native, Roy Melani. He and the committee talked about the outstanding program that they want to implement should they win the Series bid. An extremely creative video, which was more of a short film really wowed the delegation and set the tone for a professional and well put together bid presentation. The folks from Portland wanted to show that they were serious about the bid and they achieved that by having the sales manager of the Doubletree Hotel in Portland and the CEO of the Oregon Sports Authority speak to the delegation.
There was a recurring theme within the presentation regarding the fact that participants would be able to take advantage of no sales tax in Portland, which the committee pointed out could work out to be as much as an $800 savings per team over the course of a week. Mr. Melani also made the delegation aware that Nike plans on playing a huge role in helping make the tournament the best it can be if Portland were to win. Columbia Sportswear is also waiting in the wings to come on board as a 2017 Series sponsor should Portland get the nod. The hotel pricing was reasonable at $139 to $149 a night, with the Doubletree most likely being the main host hotel. Overall, Portland hit their presentation out of the park. They provided an honest perspective on their city that resonated with the voters in the room and the entire package they put forth was impressive. This group was creative, prepared and professional, but will it all be enough in a three city vote to get a majority? We’ll have to see on Sunday.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – Rise To The Challenge
NAGAAA Host City Bid Rubric Score: 145 out of 240
Potential Series Dates: September 25 – 30
Next up was the presentation from Phoenix. This group did a good job on the tagline and logo they used for their Series bid. On the promotional items that they handed out regarding their tournament the logo stood out from the other two cities. A video was shown and each member of the presentation spoke about a different part of their bid. Phoenix did a good job of talking about their main host hotel not just being a hotel, but a resort and they certainly spoke about the quality of their fields. Honestly, it hurt this group to have to go behind Portland because of how spot on and detailed their presentation was, but the committee from Phoenix did get their main selling points out for everyone to discuss.
The committee announced that the field costs will be waived by the City of Phoenix resulting in a massive amount of savings in the budget. The hotel rates fall in the $139 to $153 per night range and while they are short on the number of hotel rooms that will be needed, having 500 suites at a resort style hotel is a very big draw. Overall, Phoenix has a quality bid, but the execution of their plan to the audience wasn’t as polished as the other two cities.
NAGAAA Host City Rubric Score: 190 out of 240
Potential Series Dates: September 25 – 30
The final bid presentation came from the Suncoast Softball League in Tampa. To start, this group handed out very colorful and professional information about their bid. The documentation they provided did a good job of catching the delegates eyes immediately making them want to flip through and get the information, even before the presentation actually started. Ron Frank, Suncoast Softball League B Division Commissioner led the presentation and did an outstanding job of educated the delegation on why Tampa is the best choice for the 2017 GSWS. Drew Drosinos, Suncoast Softball League Commissioner also spoke about the Southeastern United States not having hosted a GSWS since 2006 in Fort Lauderdale, which is an even longer host drought than the West Coast has going currently.
Tampa is planning to have four host hotels with roughly 200 rooms at each hotel to meet the number of rooms that GSWS participants will need. There will be five softball complexes used to make sure there is enough space for this ever-growing tournament. The Tampa Bay Sports Commission is behind the bid along with multiple political figures and AlandChuck.travel. The committee spoke about choosing the later dates to hold the tournament being due to the chances of a major rain event being historically less likely. Tampa certainly got its point across regarding being just 20 minutes from the beach and about how gay friendly the city is. Overall, this group’s materials were professional and creative, the verbal presentation was professional and inviting and their bid is solid. Will Tampa’s beaches and its fairly close proximity to so many cities win out? The Sunday morning vote will decide it.
Generally speaking, each city had pros and cons, not unlike other years. There were several quality bids this year, but only one can win. We will have video of the vote up on the Diamond Dish Facebook page within minutes of the decision on Sunday morning. Now, hurry up and get a hold of your NAGAAA representative to tell him or her where you want to be at for the 2017 GSWS.