Here we go again. This situation arose last year and seems to be a repeat for 2011. Michael Martz of the Richmond Times-Dispatch is reporting that Richmond could lose XTERRA races after this year:
Richmond has come to a crossroads with the organizers of an off-road triathlon that has helped bring national recognition to the city’s expanding trail system along the James River.
The organizers of the XTERRA American Tour say they will move the event’s eastern regional championship out of Richmond after the 13th annual competition here in June unless they receive financial help.
“We’re coming this year — we want to come forever,” Dave Nicholas, managing director of the tour, told Richmond officials at a meeting Jan. 5, during which he asked the city for $25,000.
Richmond may not need this race, but all the volunteers that spend countless hours building the trails for free to allow the City of Richmond to get a hefty chunk of money from the tourism and the prestige and “street cred” in the outdoor world deserve a better fate than losing this race over $25,000.
The trails in Richmond get plenty of use, and that wouldn’t likely diminish, but the reward for Richmond financially with outdoor events of this level should not be ignored. If Mayor Dwight Jones is so set on Richmond becoming a bike and pedestrian friendly city and continue to support the greenways and blueways efforts, he needs to get behind supporting the XTERRA races. A $25,000 check is a drop in the bucket compared to all the waste that goes on at City Hall.