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SBD/Issue 56/Leagues & Governing Bodies
IndyCar's Randy Bernard Discusses Possible Vegas Doubleheader
Published December 1, 2010
|Bernard Sees Las Vegas Hosting Street Race,
Followed Two Days Later By Race At LVMS
By the end of the month, IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard believes Las Vegas Motor Speedway will become a part of his circuit as a championship finale. But he has even bigger plans for the entertainment capital of the world, where he would like to stage a championship weekend that also includes a street race. After conducting an interview yesterday at SportsBusiness Journal/Daily's 11th annual Izod IndyCar Series Motorsports Marketing Forum, Bernard privately discussed his ideas about the city he knows so well. The street race, incorporating the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, would be held on a Friday. Two days later, the Izod IndyCar Series season finale would take place at the 1.5-mile LVMS oval. "I think it'll be a fantastic fit," said Bernard. "This is a great market for it. ... The entertainment, the resort destination, the lifestyle here -- it is sexy. Izod IndyCar is about all of that. It's about pop culture. We want to make sure our last event is in a great market, where we can really build upon the brand. I think Las Vegas will be an awesome place for us."
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS....: It is no secret that Bernard enjoys Las Vegas, which he knows very well from running the PBR for 15 years. That sport was a Las Vegas hit, and Bernard forged connections that have helped him nearly secure the Izod IndyCar Series at LVMS. "I saw how much we were growing and how much Vegas was growing, and I had a great relationship with the City of Las Vegas and people at the (Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority)," Bernard said. "I really felt that Vegas put the PBR on the map, and I know the power of Vegas. I know what their marketing people will do for us. I think it's very important." According to Bernard, all that is left to complete are the dotting of i's and the crossing of t's on contracts. He envisions Las Vegas becoming a two-race Indy town by '12. With several drivers, he visited the city and the track for testing two weeks ago and predicted an exciting future. Some of the drivers liked it, and some were not so hot about zipping around the speedway at more than 200 mph. "What they don't like about it is it's like Chicago, where they think it'll be wheel-to-wheel, three cars wide and just all out which, for the fans, that's exciting," Bernard said. "For the drivers, they think it's really dangerous at high speeds."