2023 Gay Softball World Series Update
By Gregory Fedio
2023 GSWS Executive Director
Greetings from Minnesota!
I’m thrilled to provide a general overview of what you can expect during this year’s Gay Softball World Series as we Light Up the North from August 28th to September 2nd.
I want to get a few action items out of the way immediately, if you haven’t completed the following, please do so as soon as possible:
- Sign up to receive updates at https://www.lightupthenorth.org/ and follow @gsws2023 on Facebook and Instagram.
- Encourage your visiting players and fans to purchase tickets to the Charity Concert featuring Taylor Dayne as soon as possible.
There are five, count them five, downtown hotels with room blocks for this year’s World Series. The Hilton will host the 2023 NAGAAA Summer Meetings August 26-27 leading up to the GSWS. The meetings are open to the membership if you are interested in how NAGAAA business is handled.
The host committee is pleased to have partnered with Pride Institute, a local facility that specializes in helping LGBTQ+ individuals recover from substance use disorder, and Wild Things Antiques, a local furnishings store, to create a calming alcohol-free lounge space at the Hilton Hotel.
Sunday, Aug. 27th, GSWS Registration will open at the Hilton. While you are in town, be sure to hop on the Minneapolis Trolley that will take you on a loop from each of the host hotels and our sponsor bars and breweries. (Saloon, Eagle, Modist, Roxxy’s, Tom’s Watch Bar and 19 Bar). The trolley will be running throughout the week and will be a lower cost option than ride shares. You can pre-purchase your trolley ticket for the entire week here
Things ramp up on Monday, August 28th! GSWS Opening Ceremony will take place at the Commons at U.S. Bank Stadium. Like most of our events, the Commons is within walking distance from all host hotels. There is parking nearby as well. Following the opening ceremony there will be an official after-party at The Eagle.
The competition begins on Tuesday, August 29th, with the start of pool play for the B, C, D, E, and Masters D divisions. Masters C begins pool play on Wednesday, and the A division begins on Thursday. Our 2023 GSWS fields are in the southeast metro of the Twin Cities, and we’re told by NAGAAA that divisions will rotate days at different complexes. All fields are within 30 minutes of the hotels and 30 minutes of each other. A complete list of complexes, and a map showing locations can be found here.
The evening of Tuesday, August 29th, the Minnesota Twins will be hosting Light Up the North night at Target Field. This is the first time that a Major League Baseball team will be focusing an entire evening on the Gay Softball World Series!
The ticket package that included the special co-branded Twins cap has SOLD OUT. We encourage everyone to still attend the game as a way to support the GSWS. Tickets are available here.
You can kick off the evening by trying some Light Up the North Golden Ale at Modist Brewery’s tailgate party.
You have the opportunity to celebrate the 2023 NAGAAA Hall of Fame inductees at the Nicollet Island Pavilion on Tuesday, August 29th. Tickets for this prestigious event can be purchased here.
A concert featuring Taylor Dayne at the legendary First Avenue highlights this year’s Charity Event on Wednesday, August 30th! Proceeds will benefit our local beneficiaries, QUEERSPACE Collective and Clare Housing. Other acts include RuPaul’s Drag Race Queens Detox and Minneapolis’ own Bebe Zahara Benet! More information on the event and how to get your tickets can be found here.
GSWS has a rich tradition of over 45 years, bringing together sports, unity, and charity across different cities in North America. This year, in the heart of Minneapolis, we’re counting on you to help us by promoting ticket sales for this event within your league to help us make this event another sell-out success.
After you enjoy your team dinner night on Thursday, August 31st, make sure to drop by The Eagle for Queer Trivia night!
Friday, Sept. 1, join us at Lac Lavon fields for Friday Night Lights as we watch teams from all divisions play for the honor of playing on Championship Saturday! After FNL, please join us at the Saloon for the start of Championship weekend!
Saturday, Sept. 2, it all comes to a head when 7 champions are crowned on Championship Saturday at Lac Lavon Fields. Everyone will have a chance to celebrate the champions at the closing ceremonies at the Saloon Block Party!
As you can see there will be a lot to do during your visit to the Twin Cities. Minnesota is an amazing place that prides itself on being inclusive and welcoming of everyone! We look forward to having you experience our amazing summer weather, amazing fields and genuine northern hospitality.