Pima County nearly doubles contribution to El Tour de Tucson - Tucson News Now

Pima County nearly doubles contribution to El Tour de Tucson

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Tucson's premier bike race is less than a month away.

Each year, the city of Tucson and Pima County both provide El Tour de Tucson about $25,000 to help with traffic control and safety.

Pima County nearly doubled its contribution Tuesday to this year's race, which lost its title sponsor.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an additional $25,000 from its contingency fund to bring the county's support to $51,063, according to a news release.

County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said more than 30,000 spectators are expected to line the route this year to cheer on 8,000 to 9,000 cyclists.

He said the Perimeter Bicycling Association, the nonprofit organizer of El Tour, lost its title sponsor this year.

"A 2009 post-event survey for El Tour showed an average of $706 spent per rider," Huckelberry said. "El Tour's annual economic impact is estimated at almost $80 million."

Board members noted that managing the routes, the large amount of people and maintaining a safe traffic flow is costly.

A 2008 car-bicycle crash led to increased traffic control at the annual event, which Huckelberry said significantly impacts El Tour's funding.

The city of Tucson also approved the increase.

The race is set for Saturday, Nov. 23.

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