Dew Tour's return to Baltimore for 2008, 2009 sought

The Baltimore Sun

The Maryland Stadium Authority is working on a deal to bring the AST Dew Tour back to Baltimore, an agency official said yesterday.

Alison Asti, executive director of the authority, said she hopes an agreement can be reached this week to lock up the popular action sports showcase for 2008 and 2009.

"We're hoping to have them back for two more years," said Asti, whose office oversees events held at the Camden Yards sports complex.

From her office's standpoint, she said, the event, which drew the second-largest crowd in the tour's history this year, was a huge success, especially because it attracted new fans to the complex.

"We thought it was a tremendous event for the city and state," Asti said. "It brought people here that don't normally see Camden Yards."

She was impressed, she said, with how well tour organizers handled the operation, particularly the construction and disassembly of the venues.

"It was amazing to see how quickly they put that thing together," she said. "They moved in, and they moved out. They were very efficient. They obviously know their stuff."

The only issue that remains to be worked out involves the Orioles' schedule, Asti said.

She said she sent a letter to the team in January asking it to talk to Major League Baseball about reserving the tour dates. She planned to send the Orioles a follow-up letter yesterday to ask for an update, she said.

Attempts to reach the Orioles for a comment were unsuccessful.

The league is still trying to coordinate next year's schedule with the team.

Katy Feeney, senior vice president of scheduling and team relations for Major League Baseball, said questionnaires were sent to teams in November asking them to identify scheduling conflicts they would like the league to accommodate for 2008.

Feeney, who would not comment on specific requests her office has received, said a draft for next year's schedule is being worked on and that accommodations can be made if a team is flexible with its request.

"It's important that teams give us alternate dates," she said.

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