The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will “roar on despite complaints about barriers and fences on city streets,” according to Mark Puente of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. The City Council “unanimously approved a three-year contract extension with race officials Thursday that will keep the Grand Prix” in the city through ‘17. Leaders at the Mahaffey Theater and the Salvador Dalí Museum “wanted the city to renegotiate a shorter time that their venues could be penned up behind concrete and steel barriers.” The contract “allows 68 days for setup and removal.” Puente notes the Dalí museum is “inside the race course and sealed off from the rest of downtown for more than a month.” Several downtown residents before the council's vote Thursday “complained about the barriers and the noise associated with the race.” Council member Bill Dudley said that the “bickering sends a bad message to race officials.” Dudley: "Indy Car is watching. There are people in line waiting to take our spot. … Forty-five days is very reasonable." The race's owner “pledged that the firm will work to reduce the time" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 6/22).
Events and Attractions
Continuing its push into endurance sports and expanding a new initiative featuring women’s-only events, Competitor Group has acquired six additional races to bring its total to 75 worldwide. The company plans to announce the deals next week. The purchase includes five of the eight events of the women's-only Toyota SheRox Triathlon Series. Competitor Group launched its women’s platform earlier this month with the acquisition of Women’s Running magazine and the Lady Speed Stick Women’s Half Marathon Series. “The biggest growth segment of endurance sports [is] women,” said Competitor Group CEO Scott Dickey. “They are a very attractive demographic in terms of purchasing power, college educated, [and] married with kids.” Competitor Group also has acquired the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon, one of the largest such events in the country based on number of participants. Competitor Group began building its business by purchasing marathons and half marathons but has quickly expanded into owning most forms of endurance races. The company sells and markets across all of its races as well as an array of print and digital media assets. Competitor Group is owned by Falconhead Capital, the N.Y.-based equity fund that invests in sports and leisure companies.