Business Journal: Tourism board reaffirms commitment to Tour of Missouri

by Kelsey Volkmann St. Louis Business Journal

The Missouri Tourism Commission voted Friday to reaffirm its commitment to fund the Tour of Missouri.

But Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration still has the final say on funding for the cycling event, a Nixon aide said.

With the race two months away, Nixon’s economic development director Linda Martinez proposed cutting $1.5 million in state funding for the event, putting it in jeopardy.

The event has a $3.3 million budget that relies on $1.5 million from the state, with the rest coming from private sponsors, including Anheuser-Busch, Drury Hotels and Edward Jones.

State budget director Linda Luebbering will review Martinez’s budget recommendations, John Fougere, a spokesman for Martinez, said Thursday.

The race is slated to start Sept. 7 in St. Louis and end Sept. 13 in Kansas City.

The 2008 Tour of Missouri drew an estimated 434,000 spectators at some time during the event, having a total economic impact of $29.8 million, up from $26.2 million in 2007. The figures are according to an economic impact study conducted by German-based sports marketing and research firm IFM, which has its domestic base in St. Louis.

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