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SBD/Issue 38/Events & Attractions
Honda Edmonton Indy Is Off After Negotiations With City Stall
Published November 3, 2010
|Edmonton Race Will Be Taken Off
IndyCar Series Schedule Immediately
There will be no Honda Edmonton Indy in July, according to Terry Jones of the EDMONTON SUN. Despite the City of Edmonton "doing a deal with the Octane Racing Group of Montreal," a source said that the "plug has been pulled on the event because of an unworkable after-the-fact proposition to change the runway for the downtown airport race." Octane and the Izod IndyCar Series indicated that the whole deal "blew up because the City of Edmonton decided to change ... not only the runway but the deal." IndyCar Commercial Division President Terry Angstadt said that the city "essentially added" $2-3M (all figures Canadian) "in paving costs to Octane to switch runways after they did the deal." Angstadt: "In doing the deal they had never intended to put any money in to improving the track. That was certainly an incredible curve ball to them. It's a tremendous disappointment to us and to be quite frank, not very good for our business" (EDMONTON SUN, 11/3). Edmonton City Councillor Kim Krushell: "It wasn't anybody's fault, we both tried really hard to make this work, but at the end, we just couldn't come to an agreement. They don't want to subsidize the Indy." Krushell added the city has lost $9.2M on the race, and city officials "don't know what the end result is going to be after this last race." In Edmonton, Cummings & McNulty report ticket sales "were down a reported 20% in the days leading up to the 2010" event (EDMONTON SUN, 11/3).
WHAT'S NEXT? Sources said that the Edmonton race "will be taken off" the IndyCar schedule "immediately and won't likely return." Angstadt said that he believes Octane President Francois Dumontier "will work hard to find another venue for the race, perhaps as early as 2011," and "if not, the two sides will work toward 2012." Angstadt: "He is actively pursuing that. There are a number of locations that might be good. We don't want to fill a date with a marginal event. Francois is a pro. I have a lot of confidence in him. There are some venues that have been talked about. We love Vancouver as a possibility. Calgary has certainly been talked about" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 11/3). Angstadt added that two Quebec sites "have been considered, although neither is the Formula One circuit in Montreal." He said, "It won't kill us to have 16 events. I'd rather do (a new one) right than do it wrong. But I'm optimistic we'll fine one. I'm not giving up" (INDYSTAR.com, 11/3).