BAY CITY, MI — Pointing to a loss in sponsorships and an increase in cost, a staple of Bay City's festival season is likely coming to an end after 28 years.
The Bay City River Roar Board of Directors on Wednesday, Nov. 25, announced that the 2016 River Roar "will likely be canceled."
"The loss of sponsorship support, increased costs and inclement weather during the 2015 event were contributing factors toward the lack of funding needed to move forward, with what would be the 29th year of boat racing in the Great Lakes Bay Region."
Chad Cunningham, a member of the board of directors and the person who organizes and promotes the rock concerts that coincide with the power boat races, said news of the possible cancelation isn't a threat to the community in order to raise money.
"For now, we are under the impression that it's not going to happen," he said. "We're working with race officials to see if they can lower the price and with the city to see if there's anything we can do to make it continue, but the fact is, it's expensive to put on and we're losing money."
Cunningham said River Roar weekend can cost upwards to $300,000 including the concerts. He said this past year's concert, headlined by Collective Soul, made about $10,000, but the boat races, which can cost upwards to $150,000 to put on, lost about $60,000.
"Emotionally, this is killing all of us, but economically, we need to make a business decision," he said.