Cost of hosting Tour of Alberta set to rise

Red Deer’s cycling fans will be asking the city for a hefty contribution to host a stage of the Tour of Alberta.

Red Deer’s cycling fans will be asking the city for a hefty contribution to host a stage of the Tour of Alberta.

The pro cycling competition will pedal through Alberta for the second time between Sept. 2 and 7.

More details about the tour are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.

George Berry, local planning committee chairman, said the group is finishing up its formal application to the City of Red Deer to host the event.

“It had great success last year,” said Berry. “We don’t see any reason why Red Deer wouldn’t be (part of the route).”

But Berry said there will be more pressure on the local organizing committees to foot the bill because the province is contributing less to the tour this year.

As a result, the communities will have to dig deeper.

In 2013, the committee paid $45,000 in order to host a finishing stage of the tour. Berry estimated this year the finishing stage communities will have to pay $150,000.

The local operating budget for the tour is estimated between $25,000 to $30,000.

Berry said the group will head to city council with a financial request some time in March. The exact figure has not been determined.

The city gave a $77,000 grant related to expenses for the tour last year.

Berry said the route within Red Deer will remain the same as it was in the inaugural tour but they will strive to improve communication.

Last year, there were some hiccups when residents in Clearview and Rosedale were unable to get out of their neighbourhoods when the tour rode through the city.

Berry said they will make communication with residents a big priority leading up to the event to ensure everybody in Red Deer knows the tour is coming.

Berry said the route will likely start in Calgary and finish in Edmonton, the opposite of the 2013 tour.

The tour could reach Red Deer on Friday, Sept. 5.

“If we get a finishing stage in Red Deer, chances are we will have the riders stay in Red Deer for two nights instead of one,” said Berry. “That’s a big economic draw. We will hopefully be having more events with the riders that will be accessible for the public.”

Red Deer hosted the third-finishing stage during the inaugural race last September.

Contact Berry at 403-314-4461 or for sponsorship information or to volunteer for a committee.

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