SBD/Issue 179/Leagues & Governing Bodies

IndyCar Execs Believe Series Will Break Even Or Make Profit In '11

Jeff Belskus (c) Believes IndyCar Series Likely
Will Be Financially Self-Sustaining Next Season

IRL CEO Randy Bernard and IMS President & CEO Jeff Belskus indicated that the IndyCar Series is "about to break even, or ... make a profit for the first time," according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. Bernard and Belskus said that the series is "likely to be financially self-sustaining next season." Belskus has "always been cautious, conservative, and measured in what he says." Schoettle: "When he backs up Bernard 100 percent on the IndyCar Series likely being break even or in the black next year, I sit up and take notice." Although the Indianapolis 500 "isn't quite the cash cow it used to be," it is "still the land of milk and honey when it comes to the IndyCar Series." With corporate suites "sold out for Carb Day and nearly sold out for race day and a crowd of near 300,000 expected" for Sunday's race, there is "reason for optimism" (IBJ.com, 5/26).

TURF WARS: Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage indicated that he "would not consider the announced addition of Austin to the 2012 Formula One schedule as 'an invasion'" of SMI's Texas territory. However, RACINTODAY.com's John Sturbin noted F1's plans "do not mean Gossage is operating an 'open-door' policy" regarding TMS' partnership with the IndyCar Series "concerning the rumored addition of a street-race in Houston to a future Izod IndyCar Series schedule." Gossage said, "There's been some discussion about it, but it would be problematic." He added, "There's a difference between running an F1 race in Texas and another IndyCar race in Texas. We contend this is our turf for NASCAR and IndyCar, and if they (IndyCar management) want to put in jeopardy their most successful race outside of Indianapolis, that (a Houston event) would sure do it." Gossage said that he "did not anticipate discussing that specific issue with Randy Bernard." Gossage: "I don't see any reason that we would have a discussion because they know our position" (RACINTODAY.com, 5/27). Meanwhile, in Houston, Russ Goodall reports officials for Mi-Jack Promotions, which is leading efforts to land an IndyCar race in Houston, "are not worried" about Austin landing an F1 event. Mi-Jack Promotions Dir of Sales & Marketing Austin Crossley: "Texas is a huge market and is certainly big enough to support more than one open-wheel race" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/28).

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