Nev. tourism panel approves air race sponsorship

Nevada's state tourism commission has agreed to a $600,000 sponsorship of the National Championship Air Races to make sure the 49th annual competition goes forward in Reno in September.

Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday in support of the money that air race organizers say they needed to make a final insurance payment. The insurance premium jumped from $300,000 to $2 million after last year's tragic crash killed 11 people and injured more than 70.

Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, who chairs the tourism commission, says they'll negotiate details of the sponsorship in the coming weeks.

Krolicki says the air races are important not only to northern Nevada but the entire state. He says they create a significant economic impact and generate worldwide exposure of the region.