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DATE News (chronologically)
10/22/09
irl
IRL to return to Surfers? UPDATE The US-based Indy Racing League has not ruled out a return to the Gold Coast but 'serious problems with scheduling and finances' would have to be addressed first.  However, should Indy re-emerge on the glitter strip, it would likely be held in the autumn, say organizers.  The IRL scrapped the Gold Coast leg of its schedule following last October's event when American bosses, the State Government and local organizers failed to reach an agreement on the event's future.

Speaking to The Bulletin yesterday, Indy Racing League vice-president of public relations John Griffin said though the IRL had not ruled out a return to the Gold Coast, the same issues which saw the organization pull out of Queensland last year still needed to be addressed -- namely, money and scheduling.

It is understood it costs about $20 million to bring the series to the Gold Coast compared to the $3 million to $5 million it costs to stage a round in the US.

"We have seen the opportunity to be a predominantly American series with limited international destinations," said Mr. Griffin.

He needed to consult colleagues before confirming what sort of financial incentive the State Government would have to offer before IRL would consider a return.

"What we're looking for is a sanction fee that is going to cover our expenses to travel to and from the event, to allow our equipment to travel to and from the event and to allow our teams to each bring somewhere in the vicinity of 20 support staff," he said.

"That (the money) is probably the easier of the two obstacles."

Mr. Griffin said the IRL was more concerned about scheduling and the desire to end the IRL season in the US rather than on the Gold Coast, as was the case last year.

"The scheduling does not make sense," he said.

"We're looking to end our schedule in the United States.

"Given the lure of American football and other sports in the US we're looking to end our schedule before we end up too deep in their seasons.

"If we do finish our schedule later and overseas we risk disappearing from the media spotlight at home."

Mr. Griffin said though the Indy was unlikely to re-emerge on the Gold Coast in October, the event could potentially run in autumn.

"There is definitely scope to grow the front end of our season with overseas events," he said.

"If we were to do that, the sort of time we would be talking about would be (Australian autumn)."
from www.goldcoast.com.au

10/21/09 The Indy Racing League says it has not ruled out returning to race in Australia.

However, IRL vice-president of public relations John Griffin says the same issues which caused the series to leave the Gold Coast last year are still an obstacle - money and scheduling.

"What we're looking for is a sanction fee that is going to cover our expenses to travel to and from the event, to allow our equipment to travel to and from the event and to allow our teams to each bring somewhere in the vicinity of 20 support staff," he tells the Gold Coast Bulletin.

It's estimated it would cost about $20-million to bring the IRL to Australia. That compares to the $3-million to $5-million it costs to stage a race in North America.

Ironically, Griffin says money is actually the least of the two concerns.

"The scheduling does not make sense," he said, pointing to Australian organizers desire to hold the race in the fall.

"Given the lure of American football and other sports in the U.S. we're looking to end our schedule before we end up too deep in their seasons.

"If we do finish our schedule later and overseas we risk disappearing from the media spotlight at home." TSN.ca [Editor's Note:  With the TV ratings Versus gets, the IRL has already fallen off the media radar screen in the USA so no loss there.]

Griffin says Australia's best option for getting back onto the schedule is to move the event to the spring where the series is concentrating most of its international races.

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