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Volume 24 No. 136

Events and Attractions

IndyCar yesterday “abandoned its search” to replace the canceled inaugural race in China and “kept the Sept. 15 race at Auto Club Speedway as the season finale,” according to Louis Brewster of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said that the ACS race “would be a 500-mile race.” Bernard said, "The more we explored, the more we felt like we were rushing what could be good, long-lasting opportunities for the sport.” ACS President Gillian Zucker said, "I believe Randy worked very hard to keep things consistent. It would have been very hard to pull off a race in such a short time period. He was in a difficult position. But I think it was the right compromise. It works for the sponsors, Auto Club Speedway, our fans, the teams, the drivers and the owners" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 6/25). IndyCar series sponsor Izod said that it “supported IndyCar’s decision not to add a 16th race, which is required as part of its deal” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 6/25).

SWEET 16? Road America President George Bruggenthies yesterday said of the decision to go with 15 events, "I'm not surprised. I'm OK with it. I would agree that in order to pull off an event you need to promote it correctly, and for us to do that, time would have been short -- less than 60 days -- and for someone else to come in on the schedule, they're going to have the same situation." Bruggenthies said that he “made what he considered a ‘fair offer’ for the race, which he believes to be more than Michael Andretti paid to resurrect the race at the Milwaukee Mile with five months' notice.” Bruggenthies: "As far as a sanctioning deal, I think Michael had a hell of a deal. It's easier to promote a race when you've got a favorable sanction.” He added, "What's hurting the IndyCar Series is the fee, and there's really no sharing and benefits to the promoter. Most big series you have some other benefits, whether it's TV revenue, hospitality, sponsorship sharing. Those things don't exist in IndyCar racing anymore" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/25).

DNC organizers announced yesterday that they are "moving the much-touted Labor Day festival from Charlotte Motor Speedway to uptown Charlotte," according to a front-page piece by Smith & Washburn of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. In January, officials said that they were "shortening the convention to three days, and would forgo the traditional Monday opening for a festival at the Speedway to reach a wider audience." But yesterday evening, host committee officials said that moving the Speedway event "will provide attendees with a much stronger connection to the convention." Charlotte DNC Press Secretary Suzi Emmerling said that hosting the "CarolinaFest event along the Tryon Street corridor instead of 20 miles outside uptown makes for easier logistics." The CMS festival "had attracted little interest among correspondents planning to cover the DNC." CMS VP/Communications Scott Cooper said the staff was "very disappointed" in the decision to move the event (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/26). Meanwhile, in Tampa, Mark Puente notes a cocktail party at Tropicana Field "will jump-start the Republican National Convention on Aug. 26." The invitation-only gala "is expected to draw 20,000 people and have first-rate entertainment akin to a Super Bowl halftime show" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 6/26).