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SBD/October 26, 2011/Events and Attractions
Shifting Into Gear: Officials Discuss Plans For Inaugural F1 Race In New Jersey
Published October 26, 2011
PAYMENT PLAN: In Austin, John Maher writes F1 Management Chair Bernie Ecclestone has “coveted a race in the New York area for three decades, but until now has not been able to find anything suitable.” Hindery, the “driving force behind the New Jersey project,” said that the “existing plot of land was critical to the event.” Hindery: "It won't work anywhere else in the area." He added that the New Jersey cities of Weehawken and West New York “would be compensated by the promoters for expenses incurred in hosting the race.” In contrast, Austin's U.S. Grand Prix “is scheduled to receive $25 million a year for 10 years from the state's Major Events Trust Fund.” Those payments are “expected to cover the sanctioning fee for the race.” Hindery said that sanctioning fees for the New Jersey race “would be paid by promoters, although he did not indicate how much those fees might be” (AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN, 10/26).
AMERICAN DREAM: The GUARDIAN’s Paul Weaver writes the U.S. market “still carries the most allure and the sport's stakeholders, the FIA, the teams and their sponsors, have been putting pressure on Ecclestone.” When Austin was “still in the planning stage, Ecclestone showed interest in bringing a grand prix to New Jersey should the Texas race fall through.” There are “already 20 grands prix on the calendar for next year, and there will be resistance to racing any more than that the following season, with 20 the unofficial maximum.” The addition of New Jersey would take that to 21, which “could have implications for other grands prix if the teams do not agree to an increase to the calendar.” The future of some races “is already in doubt.” Weaver writes the “trouble with Formula One is that it too often squeezes every last penny from ‘clients,’ before asking for a little bit more each time they go back.” If F1 and Ecclestone “can curb that propensity then the move to the US -- both in Austin and New York -- should be a spectacular triumph” (GUARDIAN, 10/26).