The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance will host its annual LGBTQ+ softball tournament in Salt Lake City in 2023. The event will be staged May 26–28 at the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex and feature the top elite A and B division teams from NAGAAA organizations in the United States and Canada.
The tournament, which allows teams to qualify for the Gay Softball World Series, will be open to the public. NAGAAA is the governing body for all 47 member leagues across the United States and Canada.
“Salt Lake was the complete opposite of our expectations, we were so surprised at everyone’s friendliness, and their loving, welcoming attitude of acceptance,” said John Deffee, NAGAAA commissioner. “This warm reception will be a big piece of our memory of our time here. With 45 years as an organization, we are built and founded on community. What started with a shared passion for softball turned into something much more profound. We change people’s lives and allow them a safe place to unapologetically be themselves. And that’s what we found in Salt Lake.”
The tournament is expected to attract an estimated 1,100 attendees with an estimated economic impact to the community of more than $1 million.
“We enjoy an open-minded, inclusive culture, where kind, open-hearted people embrace their differences and encourage new perspectives,” said Clay Partain, managing director of Sports Salt Lake. “Hosting NAGAAA in Salt Lake is a perfect example of this. Here, progressive ideals, traditional roots and modern industries pull together to make a different, better way and we are excited to extend a warm welcome to them.”
“We’re proud to welcome the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance to the NAGAAA Softball Cup here in Salt Lake City,” said Tanya Hawkins, co-chief executive officer at the Utah Pride Center. “LGBTQ+ representation in athletics is critical to creating a safe and welcoming place at sporting events. In welcoming NAGAAA, we hope that every participant enjoys the competition and camaraderie on the field and takes the opportunity to enjoy one of the most LGBTQ+ affirming cities in America.”