– FROM RELEASE –
The City of Edmonton and Octane Motorsports Events have been unable
to reach an agreement on the contract for a 2011 Edmonton Indy Race. As a
result, Edmonton will not host an Indy Race in 2011.
“We are disappointed no agreement could be reached that made
financial sense to both parties,” said Lorna Rosen, Chief Financial
Officer with the City of Edmonton. “City Council quite properly set
reasonable limits on the amount it was willing to invest and in the end
we just could not make the money work.”
Council committed to investing $5.5 million in sponsorship over three
years to help Octane stage the race. However, building a track layout
that met the requirements of Octane, the Indy Racing League and the City
required further capital investment, and expected cost reductions
through having the race set up permanently on a new track layout could
not be attained. Both parties worked hard to find a solution, but in the
end it was not possible to reach an agreement.
“We looked at a range of possibilities for additional investment or
cost savings,” added Rosen. “Both sides were extremely thorough in
exploring every possibility to make this work, but the City reached its
limit on what it could invest.”
The City had already invested $9.2 million in backstopping the race’s
operating losses for the 2008 and 2009 seasons, with the financial
outcome of the 2010 race still pending.
The status of the race for Edmonton beyond 2011 remains uncertain, pending any changes in circumstances.
Edmonton was consistently praised as an excellent host city for the
race, and the race brought economic benefit and international exposure
Octane was the only responder to a Request for Expressions of
Interest the City issued in 2010 to promote the Rexall Edmonton Indy.
The City and Octane proceeded to negotiate the details of a potential
agreement, under financial parameters set by City Council.
– Metro Edmonton has a reporter at the city hall press conference and we’ll update the story later today.