Dew Tour won't return this year

Extreme Sports

March 03, 2009|By Childs Walker | Childs Walker,childs.walker@baltsun.com

The Dew Tour will not return to Baltimore this summer.

The action sports tour, which features skateboarding, BMX and other extreme sports, started in Baltimore in 2007, returned in 2008 and was expected to make its third appearance at Camden Yards this year.

Instead, the Dew Tour will begin its schedule in Chicago in late June and will make its Boston debut in late July.

The chance to break into two larger markets with a new format showcasing individual sports was too great to pass up, said Chris Prybylo, the tour's vice president of events.

"Baltimore always exceeded our expectations," Prybylo said. "We're just restructuring, and one of our goals was to break into a few top-10 markets."

Maryland Stadium Authority director Michael J. Frenz said he was surprised to receive the news Friday afternoon. He had expected the tour back, despite the difficulty of finding a weekend that would not conflict with the Orioles' home schedule.

"I think it began as a scheduling issue but really, it's that the Dew Tour is going in a different direction with the business model," Frenz said.

The Tour will run primarily in arenas instead of using the massive outdoor setup that was required at Camden Yards, he said.

"Obviously, we're disappointed, because it was a different type of event for us," Frenz said. "But they're a business and they have to do what they think is best for them. They would be welcome back."

Prybylo said the cost of the outdoor setup "wasn't a driving factor but was a contributing factor."

He said Baltimore would always be high on the list of options if the tour adds dates in future years.

The event attracted an announced 52,502 spectators last year, down from 54,907 in 2007 but still a strong figure, according to tour officials. City leaders estimated that the Dew Tour brought about $10 million in economic impact to Baltimore.

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