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Volume 24 No. 156

Events and Attractions

AEG yesterday announced the Amgen Tour of California will "return to Sacramento for the start of the ninth edition of the race," according to Chris Case of VELO NEWS. The eight-stage race "will traverse more than 700 miles along a route traveling north-to-south from May 11-18, 2014, traveling through 11 host communities, including Folsom, San Jose, Monterey, Cambria, Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Mountain High, Pasadena, and Thousand Oaks, as well as Mount Diablo." Folsom, Cambria, Pismo Beach, and Mountain High are "all first-time host cities." The final stage will "start and finish in Thousand Oaks, home to the title sponsor, which previously hosted finishes" in '10 and '11 (, 11/5). In San Jose, Elliott Almond notes the city is the only one "to participate in every tour" since it began in '06. San Jose has "proven to be a vital partner" to race owner AEG by "offering to play a role in any way possible" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/6). Sacramento city officials said that the event "would bolster the local economy" by $8.4M. In Sacramento, Peter Hecht noted the race is expected to "generate 2,790 nights of hotel bookings." Sacramento for the past two years was bypassed by the race (, 11/5). In California, Keith Lair notes Stage 7 will finish at Pasadena City Hall on Saturday, May 17. Pasadena Convention Center & Visitors Bureau CEO Mike Ross said, "We have always been interested in a stage finish. We only wanted a stage finish on a Saturday or Sunday. A finish during the week, it's difficult. By having it end on a Saturday is perfect" (SAN GABRIEL VALLEY TRIBUNE, 11/6).

SURPRISE PARTY: City of Monterey Communications & Outreach Manager Anne McGrath said that the city, which will host a stage, "didn't put in any application." She added, "We have not been contacted at all by anyone from (the tour) about this. ... This is the first that the city has heard of it." But Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau Communications Coordinator John David Van Kirk said that race organizers "contacted the bureau about returning to Monterey." He added, "They came to us asking if were were interested in participating. We let them know that we had no dollar amount or personnel that we could put towards it and they basically came back saying that they are very interested in coming here and they would work with us and the city to cover the financial burden of it" (MONTEREY HERALD, 11/6).

The NCAA and the Final Four's North Texas Local Organizing Committee yesterday announced their plans for a "three-day outdoor music festival from April 4-6 on the grounds of the old Reunion Arena in downtown Dallas," according to Drew Davison of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. The event around the men's Final Four "will be free and open to the public, and is expected to draw headline acts that will be announced at a later date." The festival has "drawn more than 150,000 people over three days in previous host cities." The NCAA and local committee felt the location of Reunion Arena "was a natural fit, too, because it is the site of where the Metroplex last held a Final Four" in '86. Cowboys Exec VP/Brand Management Charlotte Jones Anderson, who serves as North Texas Local Organizing Committee Chair, said, “We were looking for something unique and special and we realized it was right under our nose" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 11/6). In Dallas, Jeff Mosier notes official tailgates were "scheduled for two previous Final Fours but neither made a huge splash." NCAA VP/Men's Basketball Jeanne Boyd said, "In Houston, the intent was to get people to the game early. The one in New Orleans was canceled because of rain.” If this year's event succeeds, it could "be a Final Four staple alongside the concert series and Bracket Town interactive park" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/6).

Charlotte Motor Speedway this week is close to selling out its fifth consecutive World of Outlaws World Finals. The three days of racing, which begins tomorrow at the speedway’s dirt track, will attract spectators from 50 states, seven Canadian provinces, Australia and other countries. The venue holds 14,000 spectators and more than 70% of spectators will be from outside North Carolina. A three-day ticket costs $94. CMS officials responded to the demand by expanding its fan zone 20% to 80,000 square feet this year. More than 25 companies will have displays near the pits, including Penske Shocks, Hoosier Tire and Roush Yates Performance. CMS also sold out six corporate suites.