By Shannon Russell
Enquirer staff writer
Louisville will be the first stop in the inaugural Dew Action Sports Tour, the first season-long, nationally televised professional tour for skateboarding, BMX and freestyle motocross, tour officials announced Wednesday.
The tour, named after title sponsor Mountain Dew, begins in Louisville June 8-12 and travels to Denver, Portland, San Jose and Orlando over five months. Two hundred professional action sports athletes will compete for $2.5 million in prize money before 20-plus hours of NBC-TV broadcasts and 10-plus hours of cablecasts.
"Action sports are the anchor of this tour, but at the core is the community," said Wade Martin, general manager of the Dew Action Sports Tour.
Up to 100,000 people are expected to attend the event at the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center, where competitions will be held in indoor and outdoor venues. The fan-friendly festivities will include live music, video gaming, skate parks and dirt courses.
Athletes will compete on a point system throughout the contest, and overall winners will be presented trophies dubbed Dew Cups. They are also eligible for a Million-Dollar Bonus Pool based on year-end standings, as part of action sports' biggest competitive purse.
Louisville Extreme Skate Park will not be part of the June start but could be a future site for the Dew Free Flow Tour, an amateur skateboarding series that Martin described as "a feeder system to the pro event."
No athletes have been officially named for the tour. Unlike the Mobile Skatepark Series, which has launched the last three years at Sawyer Point on Memorial Day weekend, the Dew Action Sports Tour competition is solely for pros.
Harold Workman, Kentucky Fair and Expo Center CEO, said the economic impact for Louisville could be in excess of $20 million annually. The Tour has a two-year contract with the city.
"We're tickled with this," Jim Host, Kentucky Commerce Cabinet secretary, said of the partnership. "We think it's going to be a home run."
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