CARSON, Calif. -- The inaugural Tour of California,
scheduled for early next year, will have $35 million in committed
funding for its first five years, organizers said Friday between
sessions of the Track Cycling World Championships.
A few details of the eight-day, 700-mile professional event were
detailed Thursday. But race dates, a specific route, individual
cities involved or a position on next season's International
Cycling Union calendar haven't been announced.
"If we have to put up all the money and not generate any
revenue for five years, we will," said Tim Leiweke, president and
CEO of AEG, the event's promoters.
A subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation, AEG owns numerous
sports franchises, including the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL, as
well as several sport venues and professional soccer teams.
Despite no title sponsor or confirmed racing dates, the Tour of
California will feature as many as 18 international teams and will
encompass a statewide course, likely progressing north to south,
according to organizers.
"This is not a one or two year and out event; this is a
long-term commitment," Leiweke said at a news conference Friday.
"We are committed to make this one of the two or three best
cycling events in the world. We are going to do it the right way,
and we want to rival the Tour de France."
The event's name, according to Leiweke, is also subject to
"For now, we have Tour of California, and it's a good
name-holder," he said.
Event organizers said race details, including potential
sponsoring partners, will be announced soon.