The announcement that Hong Kong was to be the first Asian city to host the Gay Games was made as long ago as October 2017. The bidding process was unprecedentedly intense as 17 cities expressed keen interest in hosting the games. In the end, 11 cities submitted a formal bid; nine eventually submitted letters of intent and were longlisted; and in the end, Hong Kong was shortlisted against two other cities. It was a highly competitive process and Hong Kong was not pitched against second-tier cities — Austin, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Dallas, and Guadalajara, Mexico, to name a few.
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