Follow the money at 2009 Tour of Missouri bike race

I don't know if this will make an impact on Missouri lawmakers, but it should: The half-million people who watched September's Tour of Missouri bike race spent $38.1 million in the state.

That sounds like a good return on the $1.5 million that the state had to kick in to ensure the 7-stage  bike race could go on this year.

Every year, that state infusion of money becomes a political football. In 2009, for instance, Gov. Jay Nixon included the Tour of Missouri funds in his millions of dollars of budget cuts to balance the state budget.

Good return

A lobbying campaign by Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and other cycling supporters helped to change the governor's mind at the last minute.

Based on Missouri's sales tax of 4.225%, the $1.5 million directly resulted in a $1.6 million return to state coffers. That doesn't include all the multipliers from the jobs that were created, or saved, by goods and services that were sold during the race.

Kinder presented the study by IFM Sports to the Missouri Tourism Commission, which also supports the bike race. IFM is a sports marketing and research company based in Germany.

The study estimates that local people spent $5.6 million watching the race in their towns or counties, while Missouri residents who traveled to the race site spent $11.9 million. and visitors to Missouri spent $20.6 million.

Kinder says he supports bringing the bike race for a fourth year in 2010.

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