2016 Gay Softball World Series raising security concerns

Safety concerns for gay softball world series

AUSTIN - Fundraising efforts are well underway for 2016's Gay Softball World Series on August 15th.

It was a big deal for Austin to win the bid to host the 2016 Gay World Series, beating out San Diego.

"It is huge," said Rick McLinden, the Executive Director of the 2016 Gay Softball World Series. It is such a massive undertaking that McLinden had to take time off from his full-time job to work on the event. 

At least 5000 visitors from all around the country and Canada are expected for the five day event, which begins August 15th. Dozens of activities are scheduled at several different venues each day of the event.

"I think there needs to be a police presence," said McLinden. 

As McLinden watched the horror unfold at a gay nightclub in Orlando Sunday, his thoughts quickly turned to the Softball World Series and how to keep everyone safe.

A major concern for organizers is how to secure all the events that take place at the same time. 

KVUE reached out to Chris Balton, the Commissioner of the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance. The group includes 43 softball associations in the US and Canada.

"And that's where I came out and that's where I found my family and that's where I found the people that were like me...The Pulse Nightclub has been a longtime sponsor of gay softball teams," Balton said.

Balton was part of the conference call with Austin police Wednesday afternoon.

The focus was not only on how to keep the 5000 visitors safe but the 2,000 in town volunteers who have signed up to help as well.

The Gay Softball World Series will take place August 15 to August 20.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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