By Mark Zalewski
San Francisco city officials are calling for the suspension of the 2006 edition of the Barclays Global Investors Grand Prix after evidence to a council meeting on the race's impact revealed a claim by San Francisco police that the event still owed $89,924 in costs from 2004. City supervisors heard that a permit for the 2005 race would not have been issued if it had been known that the event still owed money from 2004.
The 2004 costs incurred by the San Francisco Police Department totaled $335,000. However, in 2005 the company that organizes the event, San Francisco Cycling, LLC, struck a deal with the city board after mayor Gavin Newsome argued the race would generate nearly $40 million in revenues for the city. A two-for-one deal was arranged that would reduce the fee by one-dollar for every two-dollars the city saw in tourism revenue. (See news report.) A study commissioned by the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau and performed by Economics Research Associates (ERA) revealed the total cost to the company would be $89,924, after the waiver equation was applied.
The two parties diverge in their accounts here. The police department claims it sent a bill for the full amount and has not received any portion of it. San Francisco Cycling, in a statement issued Tuesday, claims that a final payment of $62,822 was paid on August 1, 2005 after the economic study was completed. After this, the company says it received the permit on August 11, 2005 and that no other bill adjusting the fee to $89,924 was ever received until last week, thus following the guidelines set forth by a city law requiring all owed fees to be paid before new permits are issued.