Furious supervisors may cancel 2006 Grand Prix due to unpaid
By Pat Murphy
November 15, 2005
Irate city supervisors may cancel next year's San Francisco Grand
Prix bicycle race following revelation last night of unpaid city
fees from the 2004 event.
The revelation drew contempt from Board President Aaron Peskin,
who first sponsored the event years ago, in a committee hearing
called by Supervisor Chris Daly for event financial review.
"You played me for a fool," Peskin told event organizers.
He pledged legislation canceling city agreement to subsidize
the Grand Prix through 2007.
"It's a sham. It's not worth the paper it's printed on.
We gave them an inch. They've taken a mile. This is preposterous,"
said a furious Peskin.
Budget Director Noelle Simmons could not explain how a permit
oversight committee granted permits for this year's race despite
non-payment for 2004. A group of city agencies, known as the Inter-departmental
Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation, awarded event approval.
Simmons agreed organizers should be held to the contract requiring
city reimbursement, but had no explanation why the bill was not
The event, which draws internationally renowned cyclists, receives
a city subsidy in the form of reduced fees in return for projected
Actual police costs were $335,000 for the 2004 event, although
organizers were billed only $89,924 under city agreement to charge
$1 for every $2 in projected tax revenues.
A city commissioned study indicated the 2004 race generated $365,000
in after cost revenues, an amount challenged by Budget Analyst
Economic Research Analysts arrived at that amount not by studying
2004 revenues, but by simply adding 7.5% to 2003 city income,
In addition, race organizers have not produced audited statements
for 2004 despite agreement for 40% of profits going to city coffers,
Daly appeared relaxed in his sense of vindication for past skepticism
toward the city agreement.
"Change your name to the Topeka Cycling LLC and have fun,"
Luke Thomas contributed to this report.