Company that owns Rock and Roll marathon could move to Florida

Posted at 9:25 AM, Aug 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-11 15:12:50-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A number of local workers who helped build the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon into the international sensation it is today could soon be out of a job.

That's because the Competitor Group, which owns the marathon, recently disclosed plans to close its San Diego headquarters and lay off as many as 145 workers. Ironman bought the company in June and says it wants to increase efficiency by relocating the operations to its headquarters in Florida, a state with lower business taxes and no personal income tax.

"The City of San Diego will continue to play a strategic role in the company’s regional structure with a local office supporting the company’s events in the southwest," Ironman said in a statement. "Tampa, Florida will serve as the Global Headquarters housing all core business functions for IRONMAN and the family of brands, including the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series."

The race started in 1998 in San Diego and has since grown to 22 U.S. cities and eight countries. Competitor Group has owned it for about ten years, still employing some of the same people who got the marathon off the ground.  

"It concerns me a little but also saddens me a lot professionally," said Bill Aaron, who heads the San Diego Track Club, which provides volunteer services to the marathon. "I like to be able to run up to Sorrento Valley and drop in and say hi to whomever and be able to actually sit down and have some one-on-one work."

The move comes at a time when San Diego's job market is already getting more competitive, with annual job growth at 2 percent or below the last three months. 

Ironman says it can provide its athletes with consistent, high-quality experiences across events, and that it can help globalize the marathon. 

Competitor Group employees should find out by mid-September whether they are eligible to relocate to Florida.

In a note to Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Competitor Group says the San Diego marathon will not change.