Some of the biggest names in Richmond have opened their checkbooks to help finance a major cycling event that’s coming to the city.
More than a dozen corporations and prominent Richmonders donated $11 million to the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, which will be in Richmond. The event’s organizers had set a fundraising goal of $21 million.
Altria, Dominion and Genworth, as well as local businessmen Bill Goodwin and Jim Ukrop, are among the donors whose gift was unveiled at a news conference Thursday.
Organizers have said that the weeklong UCI event, an annual competition to determine the world’s top cyclists, could draw more than 1,000 athletes from 70 countries. It hasn’t been held in the United States since 1986.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity for us to showcase our region globally,” Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones said during the press conference at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.
About $7 million from the group donation will cover the event’s licensing fee, said committee spokesman Lee Kallman. The rest of the $21 million will pay for the event’s support staff, office space and citywide infrastructure enhancements, such as fencing and road repairs.
Wilson Flohr, head of the event’s organizing committee, said the next phase of the finance campaign will involve recruiting national and international sponsors.
The donors announced Thursday were:
The Community Foundation
VCU Medical Center
Bill and Alice Goodwin
Jim and Bobbi Ukrop
Also on hand at the event were Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Dominion Resources chief executive Tom Farrell.