Outgames is in trouble again, but this time the deficit is not just affecting government investors, now celebrity backers are coming forth and are asking for the money they are owed from the financially disastrous event.
The Montreal Outgames filed for bankruptcy protection this week, giving it a 30-day breathing period to try to work out a deal with those owed outstanding debts.
The Outgames, which broke off from the Federation of Gay Games after they pulled out from holding the event in Montreal and instead opted to support the Gay Games in Chicago, has reportedly suffered upward of a 5 million dollars in losses.
Montreal was to have hosted the more established Gay Games in 2006, but in a dispute over control and money the Montreal organisers pulled their bid and decided to host their own sporting event.
While Taxpayers took about a $3.2-million hit, retired tennis star and gay-athlete icon Martina Navratilova is still owed half the $39,384.32 promised to her by organisers of the games.
Mark Tewksbury, the swimming champion who lent his name and his leadership to last summer’s event, is reportedly owed $1,055, while Cirque du Soleil is owed $48,209.30 for it’s participation and the Montreal International Marathon is out $25,902.14, half of what it billed.
The biggest single private-sector creditor appears to be Marketing Signa Inc. of St. Laurent who is claiming $217,872.15 in loses.
More than four months after the Outgames ended, “we are still working on finalizing our receivables and our payables,” games co-chairperson Marielle Dupere.
“We need to produce the final financial statements.” When asked when the statements will be ready to view, Dupere only responded, ” I don’t know.”
With an army of 219 creditors still owed more than $2 million hammering at their doors, Outgames organisers sidestepped immediate bankruptcy last Monday.
They obtained at least a 30-day breathing space to come up with a claims-settlement proposal to its creditors.
Money problems have plagued the gay versions of the Olympics from their inception, but still there are no talks about re-combining the two events to try to create a profit. Currently, the next Outgames will be held in Copenhagen in 2009 and the Gay Games will be in Cologne the following year. By scheduling the two sets of completing games a year apart, organisers hope that in future the games will at least break even.
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