Boston GP auction falls way short of goals

IndyCar display for failed Boston GP
IndyCar display for failed Boston GP

A bankruptcy fire sale yesterday took in pennies on the dollar for the Grand Prix of Boston’s thousands of creditors.

In total, an auction took in $35,125 for the court-appointed trustee to dole out to the failed Labor Day event’s many creditors — including ticketholders.

The defunct race promotion company had estimated an $85,000 business value for two promotional IndyCar display vehicles and had said in federal bankruptcy filings they could fetch $50,000 at auction — only to sell them for $17,500, said auction executive Michael Saperstein.

Trailers for the engine-less racers went for $4,750 each.

Also on the auction block were 1,109 4-ton concrete jersey barriers, many of which have sat for months on a vacant waterfront lot owned by MassPort.

Paul E. Saperstein Co. Auctioneers & Appraisers found buyers for 325 of the concrete barriers, selling them for $25 each for a total of $8,125.

That leaves 784 homeless barriers, though Saperstein told the Herald he’s heard from some potential buyers since the close of yesterday’s auction.

Almost 4,000 people spent an estimated $2.08 million on advance tickets, but Grand Prix of Boston returned only about $400,000 to customers before it stopped refunds earlier this year.

Attorney General Maura
 Healey, who landed a $925,000 settlement with IndyCar Boston after suing the race organizers, is searching for race fans who bought tickets but were denied refunds when the event’s promoters backed out.

Healey’s office sent letters to hundreds of ticket buyers who could be eligible for compensation from the settlement fund.

Organizers canceled the event in late April, after a city conservation commission ruled the Grand Prix had to get environmental approval to use parts of the course that ran through new flood zones.

IndyCar CEO John Casey claimed the city was too difficult to work with, but the Herald later reported that the Grand Prix was broke when the race was canceled. Brian Dowling/Boston Herald

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