ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games Move On2/01/2005 7:40 AM Eastern
ESPN's Great Outdoor Games will not be returning to Madison, Wis., this summer.
Senior director of communications George McNeilly told AP the last offer from the state, Dane County and the city of Madison of $750,000 to bring the games back to Madison for a second year was "not really $750,000, but something less," and it did not meet what the network thought it needed.
"It has become clear that further discussion would not result in an agreement that fairly recognized the value we delivered," McNeilly told AP, adding that he could not specify how much ESPN wanted.
According to McNeilly, the 2004 Great Outdoor Games had a $9.8 million financial impact on the city, county and state, attracting nearly 70,000 spectators and participants for the four days of competition in events such as target sports, lumberjack events and sporting dogs.
George Twigg, a spokesman for Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, told AP Cieslewicz "is disappointed with the decision not to return. We felt that we had put a generous offer on the table."
And Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau spokeswoman Kim Straka told AP her group would not make any more offers to ESPN.