Could this be the end of the line for IndyCar at Milwaukee? (Update) UPDATE
The crowd looked similar to last year's, when it was estimated at 22,000 by the Journal Sentinel and 25,000 by Andretti Sports Marketing. Everyone wants to keep Milwaukee on the schedule, but there do not appear to be enough 'oval track' fans to support it. Why? It's all laid out in this AR1.com article. And if IndyCar, NASCAR and the entire automotive industry don't work together to fix it, motorsports will eventually cease to exist. AR1.com will lay out how to fix it in Part 2 of this article in the near future.
|It had to be a disappointing attendance for Michael Andretti|
06/15/13 Andretti Sports Marketing has every intention of bringing IndyFest back to the Milwaukee Mile for a third year in 2014.
|Dale Coyne talks to his drivers Ana Beatriz and Justin Wilson during qualifying as the huge oval crowd looks on.|
IndyCar expects to be back, too.
But unlike last June, Michael Andretti won't announce to the crowd before Saturday's race that next year is a go.
"There's a lot of different variables that we're working hard to get it set up," said managing director Kevin Healy, who has headed IndyFest since Andretti got the Milwaukee Mile back on the schedule last year.
Issues include IndyCar's growing list of racetrack options for its schedule, as well as sponsorships for IndyFest and the cost to put on the event.
In the upper Midwest alone, Road America in Elkhart Lake and Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., are interested in IndyCar races.
"We feel we have a lot of good options, and we're glad to be in that situation and position," IndyCar CEO Jeff Belskus said. "But on the other hand, we recognize the folks that have helped get us to this point, and certainly the Andretti team and this event in Milwaukee have been a very positive part of our schedule.
Andretti has relied heavily on companies that also back Andretti Autosport, a sister company that fields three full-time teams, to help pay the bills as it tries to make the Mile a successful venue for Indy cars again.
"It's the sort of thing that you're trying to rebuild it off a number of years of really bad performance," Healy said. "To that end, you're seeing real good momentum over the two years we've been doing this, but these are the sort of things that take a while to grow back.
"Can we put it together? Yeah. We can. But there's several factors we have to get in place to make this a sustainable event."
Healy said the organization expects an increase in weekend attendance of well over 10% from last year's estimated 25,000. A forecast that calls for a chance of rain hasn't helped.
"It's good racing here in Milwaukee," Belskus said, "and if they continue to make progress that'll be helpful in putting this deal together for a longer-term future." JSOnline