With the Indy races coming to Edmonton in only a few months, a new title sponsor has stepped into the spotlight.

Northlands president Ken Knowles and Mayor Stephen Mandel announced yesterday that Honda Canada would be the new title sponsor for the races, now the Honda Indy Edmonton.

Even though the races lost around $3.5 million last year, Mandel said he was excited about the new partnership and keeping the Indy in Edmonton.

“I think it’s very important for this city,” he said.

“I know citizens are frustrated but it’s a different way we are handling it this year, and I think at the end of the day people will be, I hope, relatively pleased with the results.”

Jerry Chenkin, executive vice-president of Honda Canada Inc., said the agreement was only for one year because the Indy race contract with Northlands would expire after this season.

He added that he believes the races will continue in Edmonton, and that Honda will continue their support.

“We are investing in Honda’s brand image in the province of Alberta, particularly in Edmonton,” said Chenkin.

“So we don’t hope to make money out of this.”

The Honda Indy Edmonton races will take place from July 23-25, with three-day ticket packages on sale now.