Monday, April 23, 2012

Economic Numbers Not Flattering for Rock 'n' Roll Race

Following up on his initial report about the disappointing inaugural St. Pete Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon, WTSP reporter Adam Freeman got the city's official report from race organizers:
A 13-page report, just released by Competitor Group--the California-based organizers of the race, shows local officials didn't get nearly what was promised when they agreed to spend $130,000 of taxpayer money to land the event.

Organizers held a press conference in 2011 touting a projected $15 million economic impact.

That number actually turned out to be $7.8 million.

Despite saying 60 percent of the runners would come from out-of-state, the final numbers show only 19 percent were from beyond Florida.

Organizers also claimed 10,000 hotel room nights with the event, but only ended up filling 4,200.

"The investment is yet to show its returns," said David Downing, of Visit St. Pete-Clearwater, which pledged $100,000 to market their race. "This is a multi-year deal. We have a long view. We're just at the beginning of this."
Supporters of the race in the city said they expect better things once the race has a chance to grow, but competing races said the subsidies were unfair and they'll plan to ask for similar help later this year.

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