We haven't won an Olympics bid quite yet, nor do we have a professional baseball team, but Portland will host a major sporting event this fall: The Gay Softball World Series. Yes, it's a thing—and it's huge.
Pride month may be coming to a close, but we'll still have plenty to celebrate this September. The Rose City Softball Association announced yesterday that the 2017 Gay Softball World Series (GSWS) will take place across three major softball facilities around Portland over Labor Day Week, from Sept. 4-9.
This is the second time the GSWS has come to Portland. The first time—in 2002—the city hosted 76 teams and 1500 participants. This year the estimate has ballooned to 240 teams and a whopping 3500 players from the US and Canada.
The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance is the governing body for LGBTQ softball in both countries. The organization turns 40 this year, and currently oversees 17,000 players in 46 cities. Under the NAGAAA banner, each city hosts their own softball association and member league.
Scott Cummins, Rose City Softball Association spokesperson, says Portland won the bid for the GSWS during the 2015 games in Columbus, OH.
"We submitted a package explaining how we planned to run everything," he tells WW. Portland won out over Phoenix, Arizona and Orlando, FL.
So far the RCSA has confirmed the use of three of the softball facilities: Delta Park in Portland, Hillsboro Sports Complex, and Hood View Park in Happy Valley. Games will be free of charge, but Rose City Softball Association is still looking for around 500 volunteers for the week.
Corrections: The original article originally included inaccuracies regarding the dates of competition and number of softball fields. The GSWS will take place Sept. 4-9 across three softball fields. The RCSA won their bid in 2015, not 2016. Portland first hosted the Series in 2002, not 2005. These errors have been corrected.