Tour of Missouri Bike Race organizers need to find $1 million or the race for 2010 could be cancelled. State officials have told the Division of Tourism that even though the legislature budgeted the money for the race, it’s not obligated and doesn’t plan to use the money on the race. This would be the fourth race since it started in 2007.
The Division of Tourism is dealing with a budget that will be cut from $20.5 million to $13.5 million starting this July. The money that was allocated for the bike race can be used for other programs to help offset budget constraints.
Medalist Sports, the company that has coordinated and marketed the Tour of Missouri said that they have imposed a “soft” deadline of Friday if it doesn’t get a commitment on whether funding is secure. According to an economic study, it showed that the Tour of Missouri had a $38 million gross economic impact on the host cities and the state. While there is still hope among many that a large corporate sponsor will step in and fill the short fall, keep in mind all of these major bike races around the world receive and need public funding.
I’m afraid the air has been let out of the Tour of Missouri’s wheels.