IndyCar CEO Bernard Warns Edmonton Indy's Future Is Not Guaranteed
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard Thursday said that it is "no certainty" the Edmonton Indy race will continue beyond this year, according to John MacKinnon of the EDMONTON JOURNAL. Bernard said, "The biggest thing is that Edmonton has been a great staple for our series. ... We did have some hurdles but now, with [race organizer] Octane here, we're going the right way. We need a successful event. We've had four successful double-digit growth-attendance races this year." Bernard added, "Our first and foremost priority is right here in Edmonton. We have to make it successful. But if it isn't, that's a tough decision. That's business." Bernard said that success "is measured by attendance ... and corporate sponsorship." However, MacKinnon writes attendance is "a murky marker since IndyCar does not release those figures." Octane "has a three-year contract to promote the Edmonton race, but IndyCar can opt out of the final year, if Octane fails to hit performance targets." MacKinnon: "Bernard is also betting on Edmonton, which is why he flew here, via China and Sao Paulo, Brazil, on three weeks notice, to meet the media and the Chamber of Commerce and to support Octane" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 5/4).
KICKING THE TIRES: In Edmonton, Derek Van Diest writes the Edmonton Indy "is still looking for a title sponsor and needs as much help from the business community as possible in order to survive." Bernard said, "We will go over a marketing plan and some of our objectives, but what’s more important is making sure that I can be here to talk to all the city leaders and press and talk up what we’re trying to do here." Octane "took over the event from Northlands last year and was able to put things together in a relatively short amount of time." The event was "resurrected after initially being spiked by the city." Bernard: "The best part of it is that we have a world-class promoter. ... They've done everything right, but at the same time, I have to tell Octane the truth and reality is that we have some other cities that are knocking on our door, even up here in Canada, that want races. I have only a certain amount of races and I have to make sure these races are successful in these markets to continue" (EDMONTON SUN, 5/4).