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Auburn Won’t Submit Amgen Tour Of California Bid Due To High Cost

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Nick Janes joined KOVR/KMAX in December 2008 as a reporter. Nick...
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AUBURN (CBS13) — The Amgen Tour of California won’t be racing through Auburn, as city leaders have decided it was too costly to submit a bid.

At first glance, it may not make much sense. Amgen’s been in the city before, and it brings international exposure to a small town with a huge biking community.

But city officials say it flat out costs too much to have them here in 2014.

City Councilman Bill Kirby says the tour’s climbing asking price is far too steep.

“It really wasn’t something we felt we were even approachable to do.”

Auburn used no city money as an Amgen host in 2011, raising an estimated $150,000 to $200,000 from donors who paid for things like hotel rooms and meals for Amgen, as well as police and fire services.

This time around, Kirby says Amgen wants host cities to pay for permits, and much more.

“The bottom line is the city of Auburn and its 13,000 people would’ve had to have come up with way too much money to make it worth our while.”

Police Chief John Ruffcorn, a key organizer in past bids, says donors’ interest wasn’t as strong this year, estimating the upfront cost could double.

Auburn isn’t the only past host putting the brakes on a bid. Santa Rosa, Livermore and Escondido will all watch from the sidelines next year.

Escondido city officials say their race leg in May cost $500,000, but only brought in $125,000.

Auburn official couldn’t tell us how much revenue Amgen generated in 2011, but say they have enough other local cycling events to make up for it.

“Hopefully when AMGEN gets bigger they’ll be able to incur some of those costs instead of rolling these costs back to the communities and cities hosting these events,” Ruffcorn said.

CBS13 tried contacting AEG Sports, the company that runs the Amgen Tour of California, but they didn’t return our calls for comment.

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