Edmonton to spend $5.5 million on Indy sponsorship over three years
Octane Racing Group of Montreal has reached a deal in principle with the City of Edmonton for $5.5 million in Indy sponsorship commitments over three years.
Octane president Francois Dumontier said Sunday that the City’s chief financial officer Lorna Rosen has already accepted the financial terms of his proposal to promote the race through 2013 at City Centre Airport, and has raised only “technical issues, mainly about the airport” in a conversation with him on Thursday. He said those issues were resolved.
“Having a race downtown is really important,” Dumontier said at a Sunday press conference at the Indy site.
Sources said the City has committed to providing $1.5 million in 2011, $1.9 million in 2012 and $2.1 million in 2013 to the Octane group.
Dumontier has not secured federal or provincial funding for the race. In fact, he said he is “nowhere” on that front, but it has not affected his ability to agree on terms of a three-year sanctioning deal with the Indy Racing League. He said both agreements — with the City and IRL — will be signed in the near future.
“They will be happening at the same time,” he said.
With Northlands as promoter, the Indy lost $9.2 million over the first two years and is due for another deficit this year, perhaps as much as $3 million. Up front costs of about $4 million — which sources confirm include a $2 million U.S. sanctioning fee and the setup and removal of temporary bleachers — have dogged Northlands throughout the three-year term of their deal with the IRL.
However, Dumontier said he can and will make money on the event. He also said that the $10 million operations budget Northlands is working under this year is more than he uses to run the Formula One race in Montreal.
“We know how to do sanctioning agreements,” said Dumontier. “I’m pretty happy with the deal I’ve got.” Edmonton Journal