January 27, 2017
The Philadelphia International Cycling Classic has been canceled for 2017 due to lack of funding and skyrocketing security costs.
The website for the annual race, which runs through the Manayunk and Roxborough neighborhoods, tells visitors "we're taking a break in 2017."
When contacted about the cancellation, Janine Carroll, spokesperson for the race, forwarded a statement from the city of Philadelphia:
“Regrettably, even after extensive fundraising efforts, we were not able to find enough sponsors interested in covering the $1 million cost of the bike race to host it this year. While we are disappointed, we remain committed to working with Councilman (Curtis) Jones as well as the East Falls, Roxborough and Manayunk commercial corridors on other events, including a Free Streets event in that area.”
This will be the first year the race won't be held since its inception in 1985. As BillyPenn notes, the race was initially slated to take a year off in 2013 because of similar financial shortfalls, but Manayunk business leaders and politicians worked to create a replacement event with an altered route.
Jane Lipton, executive director of the Manayunk Development Corporation, said in a statement that the development was not surprising.
"The grim reality is that security costs to stage large-scale events of this nature have spiraled nearly out-of-control," Lipton said.
"In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon tragedy and, more recently, the terrorist attacks in Paris and Germany, Homeland Security and local police are mandating that extraordinary and costly security measures be put in place before granting permission to host these types of large, outdoor events," she added.
Lipton claimed the city did everything it could to salvage the race this year, and they will do everything to make sure it comes back year, but more help will be needed from donors.
RIP Manayunk Bike Race— On Brand Pepe Silvia (@Dat_Dude_O) January 27, 2017
Congressman Bob Brady, who led the 2013 revival effort, told PhillyMag he intends to try and save the race again this year. Debt to the city hurt the race in 2013, and Brady helped organizers cut costs.
Brady told the magazine he thinks there are likely more costs that can be cut, and he plans to meet with Mayor Jim Kenney Friday night to discuss the issue.