Valencia Spain Campaigns for 2026 Gay Games

Friday August 20, 2021

Amid WorldPride and EuroGames, currently taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Malmo, Sweden, some eyes are wandering elsewhere for the next global LGBTQ+ event.

Savvy travelers know of Valencia, Spain, for its mouthwatering gastronomy, but another main attraction the destination hopes to showcase is its diversity and inclusion as a frontrunner to host the Gay Games in 2026. Most recently, Valencia's public officials and representatives of the LGBTQ+ sports community welcomed the inspectors of the Gay Games and took them on an extensive tour of more than 30 sports facilities and cultural venues that would serve as locations to host the competitions of 36 sport disciplines.

The Gay Games will take place from May 27 to June 7, 2026, and would generate a significant impact for Spain's third-largest city with attendance of 12,000 athletes and nearly 100,000 visitors and an economic impact of approximately 135 million euros. The next Gay Games is scheduled for Hong Kong, November 11-19, 2022.

Among the sports facilities visited during the inspection included the Trinquet de Pelayo, the El Saler golf course, the historic swimming pool of the Las Arenas hotel, the Ciutat de València football stadium, l'Alqueria del Bàsquet and several sports centers in the city, as well as other cultural venues such as the Palau de les Arts and the Roman Theatre of Sagunto. They also visited the new Okuda mural, the Ninot Exhibition, and the City of the Fallero Artist.

Inspectors also visited the exhibition, "Conquering freedoms. Memory of Valencian diversity" jointly organized by Lambda and the Dracs and Samarucs sports clubs currently located in the Marina de València. The exhibition showcases the achievements of the local LGBTQ+ collective and their work to make Valencian society a more open and safe space for locals and visitors alike.

Valencia claims to have one of the most advanced LGBTQ+ legislations in the world, which has the support of associations dedicated to queer rights and visibility. The city has established a dedicated website for its candidacy,, highlighting the coastal city's bid for the coveted international event.

In addition to large-scale infrastructure, Valencia's Mediterranean climate, dining, culture and nightlife have local officials confident that it will be a frontrunner to land the Gay Games.

Further testament to the city's capability to host large-scale events was its 2019 ranking in the top 50 cities in the world by the International Conference and Convention Association, jumping 44 places as compared to the previous year.