With record-setting attendance and jam-packed venues, it's safe to say the AST Dew Tour has found a home in Salt Lake City.
With 63,481 tickets sold over the four-day run at EnergySolutions Arena, the Utah stop on the Dew Tour drew more fans than at any other stop in its four-year history. Saturday's attendance figure of 25,996 was the best single-day number in the tour's record books.
In contrast, the Utah State football game with in-state rival Utah visiting Romney Stadium in Logan drew fewer than 20,000 fans.
With events ranging from BMX dirt and park, to skateboard in an indoor day-glow painted park, and freestyle motocross sending participants flying through the air in death-defying, crowd-thrilling runs, the Dew Tour sent a jolt of energy into a market that appears to embrace the action sports scene.
"This is just incredible," Utah Sport Commissioner CEO Jeff Robbins said. "We really come out for stuff like this."
The attendance numbers didn't go unnoticed by the athletes competing for wins, series points and paychecks.
"I think Salt Lake is about the best place we skate," Bob Burnquist, who placed third in the Skate Vert finals and is among the biggest stars in the X-Games/Dew Tour crowd. "The noise, the support, the people. You can't ask for more."
In the Dew Tour's final Salt Lake City event, the man dubbed Mr. Consistent came out on top as he followed an early perfect game plan to the top of the podium and a $18,000 pay day. Andy MacDonald hit a solid, though admittedly not-spectacular, first run in the Skate Vert finals, and found himself on top of the leaderboard at 88.25. He followed that up with a no-holds-barred second run and increased his score to 90.50 again landing in first place.
From there, it was a matter of watching his competitors fall by the wayside as they were forced to go big in hopes of unseating the 35-year-old Boston skater.
"Overall, (my second) run was a little more powerful and had a little more amplitude," MacDonald said.
Series leader Bucky Lasek struggled, falling in each of his three runs, and had to settle for a fifth-place finish. Burnquist, who also fell twice, chose to play it safe in his third and final run.
"I decided to think about points more than the win. It helped me out big time," Burnquist said. "This set up Orlando (the Dew Tour's final stop); it's going to really make everything count out there. This will really shake up Orlando."
Lasek still leads the overall series with 325 points, but Burnquist, who finished third on Sunday with a score of 88.25, is nipping at his heals with 320. Pierre-Luc Gagnon threw down a big final run to take second at 90.25.
Sunday's other final saw Daniel Dhers all-but-clinch the BMX Park series title. With his fourth win in as many events, Dhers pushed his lead to 70 points over Mike Spinner.
Dhers needed every trick he could uncork to get his fourth win, however.
Spinner had a tremendous opening routine and held a commanding lead with his score of 93.00 over Dhers and Garrett Reynolds, who each were given scores of 91.67 in the first round.
But when Spinner missed his first trick in the second run, it gave Dhers the opening he needed.
"He messed up on his first trick and I told myself, 'I think it's leaving me a door open,"' Dhers said.Dhers walked through, and it was a high-risk, high-reward final run a few minutes later to grab the victory with a 93.33 score.
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