PHILADELPHIA, PA (BRAIN)—Thanks to two Philadelphia casinos—SugarHouse and Foxwood—the 25th annual TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship will go on Sunday, June 7.
Those two casinos, which haven’t been built yet, have committed $100,000 each.
“We’re very pleased we can continue it,” said David Chauner, president of Pro Cycling Tour and co-founder of the race. “The 25th anniversary was a big rallying point.”
Race organizers will continue to raise money up until the event and after to make up the remaining financial gap.
“We still need to sell more tickets and merchandise to break even,” said Jerry Casale, chief operating officer of Pro Cycling Tour and race co-founder.
The Philadelphia race has been hit hard by a sagging economy; not only hit hard by lack of sponsorship dollars, but also the city’s own financial problems.
Some of last year’s key sponsors like the city of Philadelphia, CSC and Rock Racing pulled out this year. Also, the city for the first time in 24 years is charging race organizers roughly $250,000 to cover the costs of clean up and police. In total, that meant a $500,000 budget gap.
Chauner said he’s tapped Fuji Bicycles’ president Pat Cunnane to act as the race’s unofficial liaison to the bicycle industry.
“We’d really like to get the bicycle industry more involved [with sponsorship and in attending the race],” Chauner said.
The race brings the greater Philadelphia region an estimated $15 million in economic benefit, and last year’s race brought a crowd estimated at over 300,000.
For more on this story, be sure to read the May 15 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.