Search for Edmonton promoter gets some play
The search for a new Edmonton Indy promoter has finally got out of first gear.
Two sources have confirmed that the City of Edmonton recently released Indy financial details to prospective promoters who have expressed an interest in taking over the much-maligned motorsports event from Northlands in 2011.
Octane Management of Montreal confirmed its interest in the Edmonton race to the Journal through spokesperson Normand Prieur last week and a source said Octane principal Francois Dumontier recently conducted a site visit in Edmonton. Several sources have confirmed that Green Savoree Promotions of Indianapolis and Toronto is also in the hunt for the Edmonton Indy. Green Savoree co-owner Kevin Savoree has not responded to several messages left by the Journal.
It is believed the third interested party is Mi-Jack Promotions, headed by former Champ Car World Series team owner Mike Lanigan of Hazel Crest, Ill. A Mi-Jack spokesperson said he could not provide confirmation Monday, but according to a source, Lanigan declared his interest in the Edmonton race during the Indy 500 weekend. It's thought that all parties linked to a potential new deal, including officials at Castrol Raceway in the County of Leduc, have signed a confidentiality agreement with the City.
The financial numbers from Edmonton Indy races will form an integral part of a report on the event being prepared by the city manager's office that must be presented to city council well in advance of the July 25 race. The report will presumably provoke a decision from council on the issue of ongoing City support, both political and financial, for Indy. The report is not currently on the June 23 council meeting agenda.
The current three-year sanctioning contract between Northlands and the Indy Racing League expires after this summer's race.
The event, held at City Centre Airport, has racked up a $9.2-million deficit in two years under Northlands' stewardship and the City reached out to private promoters in hopes of finding a more workable financial model.
City officials should be pleased with the list of candidates, since they are all well-positioned to run an IRL event. Octane promotes the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal while Green Savoree promotes Indy races in Toronto and St. Petersburg, Fla., and Mi- Jack will produce the recently announced Indy race in, - -previously run an IRL race in Cleveland and is likely on the verge of bringing a Houston event back to the IRL schedule in 2011.
However, time is a factor now, since these firms received the financials only days ago. The IRL will be announcing its 2011 schedule -- featuring either 17 or 18 races -- by the end of July, leaving little time for a thorough round of due diligence. IRL commercial division president Terry Angstadt said last week that the IRL is saving a spot on the calendar for Edmonton, though he did not guarantee it would be the same one they own now. Edmonton Journal