Maloof offers $1 million skateboarding bonus
Sacramento Kings’ co-owner Joe Maloof is expanding his skateboarding competitions and offering a $1 million bonus to any skater who can win four in a row.
Maloof came up with the bonus as a way to keep momentum going following the third Maloof Money Cup Orange County last weekend in Costa Mesa, Calif.
“I thought it would set the bar high,” Maloof said in a phone interview from Las Vegas, where his family owns the Palms Casino Resort. “It gives these kids an opportunity to stretch for the moon, because this will be one of the biggest prize purses in sports, really, when you look at it. It’s pretty big.”
Chris Cole has won three straight Maloof Money Cups – and a total of $300,000 – but won’t be able to skate for the bonus because he’s committed to Rob Dyrdek’s new Street League, which starts later this month and requires exclusivity.
Maloof said that at the time he came up with the idea of the bonus, he wasn’t aware that Cole would be bound to the Street League.
“I don’t know if he’d be able to skate in ours, but if wants to, he’s welcome,” Maloof said. “If he decides not to skate, OK, no problem, someone will start a new streak. Basically, somebody’s going to win it.”
Cole couldn’t be reached for comment. Dyrdek, the pro skateboarder and MTV star, confirmed that Cole wouldn’t be able to compete for Maloof’s bonus.
“It’s so crazy,” Dyrdek said. “I’m just so curious – is that a singular ploy to get Chris Cole?”
Maloof emphasized that it’s not, that he simply wants to keep expanding the Maloof Money Cup concept.
“I don’t know how everyone will react to it, but I believe it’s one of the biggest opportunities in skateboarding history. I wanted to add momentum to the Maloof Money Cup and extend the spotlight on the skaters,” he said.
Maloof and his brother, Gavin, started the Maloof Money Cup in 2008 in Orange County, with both street and vert competitions. They expanded to New York in June, with street competition only on a permanent course the Maloofs built and donated to the city, with help from sponsors.
Maloof said that after the New York competition, he was contacted by 27 cities about hosting future Maloof Money Cups, including Chicago; Portland, Ore.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Atlanta. He said no agreements are in place, but that he’d like to stage at least four competitions next year in the United States, as well as a previously announced contest in South Africa.
Maloof wants to stage all future contests on permanent street courses. Organizers have had to tear out the course the last three years at the Orange County Fairgrounds.
“I’m never tearing it down again,” Maloof said.
Despite competition between the Maloof Money Cup and Street League, big money has come to pro skateboarding.
Street League will offer nearly $400,000 in prize money at each of the three stops beginning with Glendale, Ariz. on Aug. 28 and followed by Ontario, Calif. on Sept. 11 and Las Vegas on Sept. 25. Dyrdek said first place will be worth $150,000.
Street League has signed 24 skaters, including Cole, Paul Rodriguez – who won the first Maloof Money Cup – Ryan Sheckler, Sean Malto and Torey Pudwill. Malto was third at last weekend’s Maloof Money Cup and Pudwill was fourth.
The Maloof Money Cups give $100,000 to the street winner and $75,000 to the winner of the vert competition.
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