Against the Amendment: Q and A with Twin Cities World Series Organizer Bill Venne
What is the NAGAAA Softball World Series?
The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance is the organizer of the Gay Softball World Series—the largest annual predominantly gay sporting event in the world. This year, it’s being held in the Twin Cities for the first time since 1996. The Twin Cities Goodtime Softball League, which is entering its 34th year, is hosting this hallmark event. This year’s World Series will be taking place August 13-18.
How does this event bring together the GLBT and wider community?
The World Series draws over 4,000 participants plus 1,000 fans from across North America and helps to strengthen the GLBT presence in our communities. This year, we estimate that the whole World Series event will bring in between $5-10 million in economic activity for the Twin Cities region. The World Series is a fun community event that benefits all those involved.
Will there be any activities helping to spread the word about the marriage amendment?
This event will be drawing a large number of local fans and players along with many out-of-state players and fans. This creates a unique opportunity for the World Series to support various national and local organizations. Minnesotans United for All Families is one of these organizations. They will be present in various capacities to help spread the word about this hurtful amendment that will be on Minnesota ballots in November.
What role do you feel sports play in building community and civic engagement?
The World Series brings together a diverse group of people to enjoy great company and competitive play. The host city must be welcoming, inclusive, and vibrant to support such a large-scale event. The Twin Cities without a doubt fulfills this description. We think it is important for all of our participants to be aware of the upcoming amendment and have the opportunity the engage in conversations about this important issue that directly affects our community.