75,000 Expected for Tour of California Next Saturday
Last year's race (KXJZ/Kelley Weiss)
Organizers are gearing up for what will likely be the biggest crowd downtown Sacramento has seen in over a decade – next Saturday’s opening stage of the Tour of California bike race.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
The city’s police department says it expects 75,000 people to converge around the State Capitol.
Steve Hammond with the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau says he’s never seen such a big crowd in the area.
Hammond: “There’s some events that draw over 75,000 over an extended weekend, but in my recollection, this would be the first time we’ve actually had 75,000 people in downtown at one time.”
The head of the Sacramento Sports Commission says he thinks the Olympic Torch relay in 1996 brought a hundred thousand people downtown.
The police department says it’s planning barricades, signs and traffic routes – and expects to have over 100 officers and 200 volunteers helping out.
The race will start at 1pm on Valentine’s Day and will include cycling big-shots like Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis.