Boston IndyCar race cancelled (Update)

UPDATE The following is a statement from INDYCAR:

IndyCar gets egg on its face yet again.
IndyCar gets egg on its face yet again.

INDYCAR was made aware of the news involving the Grand Prix of Boston this evening. We are obviously disappointed with these media reports and are in the process of gathering additional details and will respond accordingly at the appropriate time. At this stage it is premature for INDYCAR to comment further on the situation locally in Boston or the prospect of an alternate event.

04/29/16

AutoRacing1.com predicted this race would never happen last September. That prediction has come true (See rumor update on rumors page).

Days after Boston GP CEO John Casey told racer.com that all systems were go for the race, AR1.com published an article that said it probably would not happen. We explained to you that the Army Corp of Engineers Permit process for building in a flood zone could never be completed in time. And it's not.

Grand Prix Promoters of an Indycar race in the Seaport this fall are peeling out of Boston and will not race here, said John Casey, president of the Grand Prix of Boston.

"The relationship between us and the city is not working," Casey said in a Boston Globe interview. "The relationship is untenable."

The inaugural Grand Prix of Boston had been scheduled for Labor Day weekend, on a 2.2-mile temporary street course around the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Promoters last May signed an agreement with Walsh to hold the race in 2016, and annually for up to four more years.

Instead, the promoters will turn to Plan B, and will try to hold a Labor Day race in a backup city in the Northeast, he said. The promoters have had contact with two other cities, he said, one of which is in New England.

"They are both willing to do it without the headaches of Boston," he said.

Casey said city officials made relentless and unrealistic demands on the promoters that eventually just became too much to bear.

"I’m writing a book about this whole process," he said. "It's so ridiculous, it's hysterical."

Casey’s announcement comes after months of negotiations with city and state officials on agreements to hold the race.

Instead, the promoters will turn to Plan B, and will try to hold a Labor Day race in a backup city in the Northeast, he said. The promoters have had contact with two other cities, he said, one of which is in New England.

“They are both willing to do it without the headaches of Boston," he said.

Casey said city officials made relentless and unrealistic demands on the promoters that eventually just became too much to bear.

“I’m writing a book about this whole process," he said. “It’s so ridiculous, it’s hysterical."

Casey’s announcement comes after months of negotiations with city and state officials on agreements to hold the race.

LogMeIn CEO Bill Wagner signed on early as a major sponsor for the event, in part because of the positive attention he said the race would bring to the city and to the neighborhood. His company’s Summer Street offices overlook a portion of the race course.

“We’re really disappointed," said Wagner, who pointed to a city Conservation Commission vote last week that added to the race’s permitting woes. “It felt like another hurdle was thrown at them."

Wagner noted that ticket sales were off to a stronger than expected start, and employees at his high-tech company were enthusiastic.

“The level of excitement among our employees [about the race] had exceeded my expectations," Wagner said. “It had a much broader appeal than a lot of people expected."

The long-term impact to the city, Wagner said, could involve ripple effects that go well beyond the loss of the Labor Day weekend race.

“It’s going to send a signal to other people trying to bring events to Boston," Wagner said. “If anyone else brings an event to Boston, I’m sure they’re going to call IndyCar and ask what their experience was. I would hate to hear what that call was [like]." Boston Globe

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