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Edmonton Indy deal too rich for some councilors’ blood
If the Edmonton Indy was going to be a million-dollar baby as City Councilors had been expecting, they would have wholeheartedly embraced it, according to Coun. Bryan Anderson.

Instead, the three-year ask from Octane Racing Group of Montreal exceeded an annual average of $1 million, the number that councilors repeatedly heard for the last several months when all signs pointed to a new deal with a private promoter, rather than a contract extension with Northlands.

That financial curveball led to a 7-5 split in favor of authorizing acting chief financial officer Lorna Rosen to enter into negotiations with Octane on a three-year deal to run the Indy Racing League-sanctioned event at City Centre Airport.

“It was a little rich for five councilors,” said Anderson. “Had that ($1 million per year) dollar value been floated it would have been unanimous. It was more. The ask in the first year will come in at about $1.5 million.”

Anderson would not say how much financial sponsorship Octane wants from the City in 2012 and 2013, but it’s obviously more than in the first year.

“That’s what negotiations are all about. We asked Lorna Rosen to do the best she can to bring years one and two in line with the first year of the race.”

Anderson said the sponsorship commitment was the only contentious issue and that he was happy to see the City will not be covering any potential deficit. The City has already been on the hook for $9.2 million over the first two years. The budgeted loss for this year’s race is $3.4 million but updated estimates vary from $2 million to $3 million and will be affected by late ticket sales. Edmonton Journal

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