Rock n' Roll marathon not so rockin' for City of St. Pete

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Following up on his station’s initial report about the disappointing inaugural St. Pete Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, WTSP reporter Adam Freeman got the city’s official report from race organizers:

A 13-page report, just released by Competitor Group–the California-based organizers of the race, shows local officials didn’t get nearly what was promised when they agreed to spend $130,000 of taxpayer money to land the event.

Organizers held a press conference in 2011 touting a projected $15 million economic impact.

That number actually turned out to be $7.8 million.

Despite saying 60 percent of the runners would come from out-of-state, the final numbers show only 19 percent were from beyond Florida.

Organizers also claimed 10,000 hotel room nights with the event, but only ended up filling 4,200.

“The investment is yet to show its returns,” said David Downing, of Visit St. Pete-Clearwater, which pledged $100,000 to market their race. “This is a multi-year deal. We have a long view. We’re just at the beginning of this.”

H/t to Noah Pransky and his Shadow of the Stadium blog.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.