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Denver hosts 2012 Gay Bowl XII this weekend

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It took a lot of planning and hard work by the Denver Gay and Lesbian Flag Football League to land this year's Gay Bowl XII, which officially kicks off tomorrow at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Bidding for the games began back in 2010, when the Denver Gay and Lesbian Flag Football League was just two years old. The fastest-growing GLBTQ--centered flag football league in the country, Denver is now home to twenty teams, involving hundreds of players from around the metro area.

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For the 2012 Gay Bowl XII, close to forty teams from across the country will converge on Denver. It's the culmination of extraordinary effort, which included a included a 26-page bid vetting the city as a prime location for the GLBTQ and ally-friendly competitive experience -- and as a result, Denver beat out San Diego to become the host city.

"We pitched the high-quality fields at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, and the fact that Denver is a great city to visit," says co-tournament director Joe Cooper.

Also winning points for Denver was the strength of the community that has grown out of the Denver Gay and Lesbian Flag Football League. Started as a friendly pick-up game in Cheesman Park, the now nationally-recognized league is known for its positive, family-friendly environment and socially-inclusive attitude.

And this year's Gay Bowl will be more inclusive, too: The 2012 games mark the first time a women's division has been added to the weekend-long event.

Opening ceremonies are set to begin at 12:45 p.m. Friday, September 21 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Denver First Lady Mary Louise Lee-Hancock will sing the National Anthem, and the Mile High Freedom Band will be on hand to perform a little stadium rock-style warm-up music.

But first, a pre-bowl welcome party will go down tonight at 9 p.m. at Charlie's, 900 East Colfax Avenue. Visit the 2012 Gay Bowl XII's website for a full schedule.

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