PHILADELPHIA, PA (BRAIN)—The 25th annual TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship drew huge crowds in excess of 300,000 this past Sunday.
“It was just as crowded as it ever was,” said Pat Cunnane, president of Advanced Sports. “There were actually more participants in the ride.”
None of this would have been possible without two Philadelphia casinos—SugarHouse and Foxwod—stepping up at the last minute, committing $100,000 each to keep the race alive.
The Philadelphia race had been hit hard by a sagging economy. The event was almost cancelled due to a lack of sponsorship dollars, not to mention 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 charged organizers roughly $250,000 to cover clean up and police costs. In total, this meant a $500,000 budget gap.
The road race is considered to be one of the best in the United States. It’s been won by Lance Armstrong and former Olympic speed-skating gold medallist Eric Heiden. Greg LeMond has also raced in the event.
Andre Greipel of Columbia-High Road won this year’s race, winning $13,500 for finishing first.