Race of Champions to Miami? The Race of Champions is truly a splendid event, one brimming with national pride, international camaraderie and precision competition among some of the greatest and most respected racing drivers in the world, from all disciplines of motorsport.
That makes it a coveted commodity. And it makes event founder Fredrik Johnnson an influential man. We've been chasing Fredrik for a few years now," Terry Bassett, Miami Dolphins vice president of business development, told ESPN.com Sunday while attending the event in London. "I hate to stand here in Wembley and say, 'Hey, we want your event.' But we want their event."
Dolphin Stadium executives are interested in luring ROC to the United States.
"When I went to [work for] Dolphin Stadium and the Miami Dolphins, part of my marching orders is to bring new events to the stadium," said Bassett, a former executive at International Speedway Corp., which owns 12 tracks on which the Nextel Cup Series competes. "We did a big renovation, about $350 million, to our building and … how are you going to fill it up?
"Anticipating the Marlins not being there when they get their new building, when you're dark, you need to fill it with dates. This is a perfect event: big names, international scope. We believe because of our South Florida location, proximity to Central America and South America, we've got a location not many places in the U.S. can compete with."
If this were to come to fruition, it would mark the first time ROC was held outside of Europe. Among the past locations are Paris, the Canary Islands, Madrid, Barcelona, Nurburgring and Monthlery. This was London's first time hosting the event.
Johnnson said the current contract with Wembley Stadium is a one-year deal with "options in our favor for 2008 and/or 2009." He said the event is likely to return to Wembley next year.
After that, it's anybody's ball game. More at ESPN.com