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DATE News (chronologically)
03/19/12
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Andretti firm to pay $25,000 to lease Milwaukee Mile
A company led by Indy race car owner Michael Andretti will pay $25,000 to lease the Milwaukee Mile Milwaukee Mile Latest from The Business Journals Follow this company for an IndyCar race in June.

Andretti Sports Marketing Wisconsin, led by IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti, announced several weeks ago that it would promote the race and festival at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis June 15-16. The event will be headlined Saturday afternoon by an internationally televised IZOD IndyCar race and also will include many other events at the Wisconsin State Fair Grounds, including a post-race concert.

According to documents released to The Business Journal in response to an open records request, Andretti Sports Marketing must pay Wisconsin State Fair Park, which owns the race track, $12,500 by April 1 and $12,500 by June 13.

In comparison, Avocado LLC, which included Milwaukee business executives Frank and Dominic Giuffre, paid $15,000 to lease the track for an IndyCar race in 2011.

Under the agreement, State Fair Park will run the concessions for the 2012 event, but will give Andretti Sports Marketing a credit for 15 percent of all sales. Andretti Sports Marketing will handle all of the merchandise sales and also receive 75 percent of all public parking revenue, with a parking fee set at $10 per car.

The firm will be able to use 80,000 square feet of the Wisconsin Exposition Center for hospitality during the event and keep all of the revenue earned. State Fair Park will also provide 50 golf carts for Andretti Sports Marketing use during the race event free of charge.

Andretti Sports Marketing will gain access to the race track on June 1 and will need to move all of its equipment off the grounds by June 18. It will also have access to State Fair Park’s and the Milwaukee Mile’s past customer databases.

The documents showed that Andretti Sports Marketing must notify State Fair Park by Aug. 1 to exercise its right of first refusal to produce an IndyCar event in 2012. The firm has the right to put on the race in Milwaukee through 2012.

State Fair Park has the right to increase the fee by 5 percent each year.

Marcus Hotels & Resorts recently agreed to become the first major sponsor of the new event. Race organizers hope to announce other major corporate partners, including a presenting sponsor in the next several weeks.

In a post on Twitter last week, race officials said they had already sold tickets to customers from 28 states. In the past, Michael Andretti won the Milwaukee race five times as a driver and three times as a team owner.

After not having a major race in 2010, the mile-long oval track, which is the oldest, continually operating speedway in the country, hosted an IZOD IndyCar Series event in June 2011.

The event, which was plagued by bad weather and poor ticket sales, generated about $300,000 and overall the track brought in $600,000 for 2011, far short of the $1 million annual debt service State Fair Park is still paying on the Milwaukee Mile. Milwaukee Business Journal

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