The Sturgis Board of Aldermen Tuesday tabled a request that would have sealed the deal on the Red Hills Motorcycle Rally returning after a one-year hiatus.
Aldermen reviewed a proposal from the Sturgis Rally board that would see the rally pay the city $8,500 for to rent the park where bands perform and to pay cleanup and security costs.
Aldermen rejected a $7,500 offer last year and made a final counteroffer of $8,500 before rally organizers pulled the plug. The board’s contract with the city in 2010 was $17,500.
However, Sturgis Mayor Walter Turner is optimistic this time around.
“The board wanted to table it until we meet next month just to make sure we’ll be able to do it,” Turner said. “But from the sounds of things, the rally board is doing everything they can to make it happen.”
The proposed date of this year’s rally is Aug. 17-18. The 2011 rally was moved to October before it was canceled due to a budget shortfall.
In past events, the rally has made its money from the sale of all-access arm bands at $35 per band. Rally Board President Donny Hanson said the rally board will likely drop the price of arm bands if a rally is held this summer.
“If the town accepts, there’s a 99-percent chance we will hold the rally based off arm band sales,” Hanson said Monday. “And the reason I say that is because the budget we have looked at, we feel like we can sell 2,500-3,000 arm bands with lowering the price and lowering the budget. The entertainment will not be the caliber (it usually is), but we’ve set up the budget where we can do it and still break even.”
Rally organizers estimate the event brings 20,000 people to the area.
In the past, a portion of rally proceeds benefited the town of Sturgis, a town of about 254 people, in southwestern Oktibbeha County; the American Red Cross of Oktibbeha County; and Catch-A-Dream, a foundation offering hunting and fishing experiences to children, age 18 and younger, with a life-threatening illness.