SBD/January 12, 2011/Events and Attractions

Edmonton Indy To Remain In City For At Least Next Three Years

Octane Motorsports Will Promote, Organize Edmonton Race Over Next Three years
Edmonton city officials have completed an agreement to continue to hold an Izod IndyCar Series race "locally for the next three years," according to Gordon Kent of the EDMONTON JOURNAL. A deal with promoter Octane Motorsports was announced in November, but Edmonton CFO Lorna Rosen yesterday said that it "took six weeks and a meeting at the company's Montreal headquarters before contracts were signed." The city will arrange a $3M (all figures Canadian) paving project "on about 4.5 hectares along the City Centre Airport's east side to help make a track out of the runway closed last August." Edmonton is contributing $2M, "paying off the expense with an estimated $450,000 in annual parking fees." Local businesses will kick in $1M worth of "labour, material and cash." The Edmonton City Council also voted to provide $5.5M in sponsorship and $1.5M in "transit, police and other free services over three years, but it won't have to cover any deficits." The "planned redevelopment of the airport means the race will have to find another home by 2014 at the latest." Rosen said that it "needs to be within city limits, preferably with a view of the skyline to show on TV" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 1/12). The CP reported Octane "has also reached agreement on a three-year deal" with the IndyCar Series "to promote and organize the race." The race site "shifted from the western to the eastern runway as part of plans to move operations to Edmonton's International airport." Octane President Francois Dumontier said that the move "would help make the race more attractive because the site now is under the city's jurisdiction and will no longer be under airport rules that restricted where grandstands could be erected." He added that bleachers "can be set up closer to the track and more box seating can be added" (CP, 1/11). In Edmonton, Terry Jones reports Octane "managed to sign a sanctioning fee with IndyCar at a significantly lower rate than the one Northlands previously negotiated" (EDMONTON SUN, 1/12).
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