Tour of California won’t pedal through S.F. in 2008

First, the 49ers. Now, San Francisco has been spurned by another sports franchise.

The 3rd annual Amgen Tour of California, a Tour de France-style cycling road race, which kicked off in 2006 with a ride down the Embarcadero, will skip San Francisco in 2008, choosing instead to host its prologue race with a pedal through Palo Alto.

Race organizers announced this week the 12 official cities where the race will start and finish each day during the eight-day, 700-mile race. San Francisco, which has hosted the prologue of the race for the last two years, didn’t make the cut.

When called about the rejection, race officials said, just like it’s famous French inspiration, the Amgen Tour of California would change some of its routes and host cities from year to year.

“Each year, we’ll have a collection of mainstays but also experiment and bring in new cities, to showcase more of the state and make the route fresh,” said Shawn Hunter, managing director of the Amgen Tour of California.

While Hunter said San Francisco did a “tremendous” job hosting the opening event during the race’s first two years, he let it slip that Palo Alto officials had courted race officials.

“They submitted a great bid. Palo Alto had a local organizing committee that included the mayor, local leadership and Stanford University,” Hunter said.

Large sporting events are not just fun and games — they are also big economic boosters for the host cities. Earlier this month, when San Francisco hosted Major League Baseball’s All-Star festivities, city officials estimated that the weeklong event would bring in about 100,000 visitors into The City and generate about $60 million in extra revenue. While the Amgen Tour of California was only in San Franciscofor one day, race organizers estimated the crowd at close to 300,000 fans.

City officials were caught off guard by the news that San Francisco wouldn’t start the race next year.

“The 300,000 fans that came to San Francisco last year are going to be disappointed,” said Jesse Blout, director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “We wish we could have been given the heads up and given the opportunity to keep them here.”

The City can also pin hopes on the Amgen Tour returning, Hunter said.

“We love San Francisco,” he said. “In future years, we plan to return.”

The Amgen Tour of California is presented by AEG, the parent company of Clarity Media, which operates The Examiner.

beslinger@examiner.com

CaliforniaCalifornia NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF moves into purple tier, triggering curfew and business shutdowns

San Francisco moved into the state’s purple COVID-19 tier Saturday, requiring The… Continue reading

San Francisco lacks housing data that would let it track rental vacancies and prices. New legislation is seeking to change that.<ins> (Photo by Joel Angel Jurez/2016 Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Landlords blast proposal to require annual report on rentals as invasion of privacy

Housing inventory could give city better data on housing vacancies, affordability

University of San Francisco head coach Todd Golden coaches his team on defense during a 2019 gameat War Memorial Gymnasium on the campus of the University of San Francisco. (Ryan Gorcey / S.F. Examiner)
Stunner in Bubbleville: USF upsets fourth-ranked Virginia

Less than 48 hours removed from a loss to a feeble UMass… Continue reading

Health care workers would be the first group in the state to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (Go Nakamura/Getty Images/TNS)
Hope on the way: Here’s what to know about California’s COVID-19 vaccine plan

The first batch of doses could hit the state as soon as early December

The Big Game was played Friday at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. (Shutterstock)
Stanford blocks extra point to stun Cal, win 123rd Big Game 24-23

The 123rd edition of the Big Game featured a number of firsts.… Continue reading

Most Read