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Indy could be boon or bust for Calgary

The possibility of an Indy Racing League event coming to Calgary could be an economic boon to the city, but it could have drawbacks, according to a city tourism professional.

The possibility of an Indy Racing League event coming to Calgary could be an economic boon to the city, but it could have drawbacks, according to a city tourism professional.

Marco DeIaco, the vice-president of sales and sport events at Tourism Calgary, said the race would likely draw a lot of business to Calgary.

“An anchored event like the Indy can make a long-term and incremental impact on tourism but it can also cost a tremendous amount of money and the fact is that we need a suitable race track in Calgary,” said De Iaco. “It’s pretty obvious, Calgary doesn’t have an international race track at the moment.”

While there may not be a venue in mind as of yet, Rick Francescone said this is an opportunity motor sport enthusiasts have been waiting for.

“This is the reason we’ve been pushing this for the last three years, knowing that this opportunity exists,” said Francescone, chair of the Motorsports Council of Calgary.

“This is huge economic impact for the city of Calgary. Does it benefit Race City (Speedway) or motor sports? No ... but it would put Calgary on the map.”

Ward 12 Ald. Shane Keating said the city is in need of an event like this. “A city the size of Calgary that doesn’t have that sort of recreation ... is lacking,” he said.

 
 
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