Fort Lauderdale Grand Prix funding in front of Broward County Tuesday

Broward County commissioners will be asked Tuesday to approve hotel-tax funds to help promote an annual Grand Prix race weekend in Fort Lauderdale that could begin as early as autumn 2013.

Some cities that host Grand Prix events offer help to organizers in the form of reduced rents for venues or some hours of police and fire personnel for free.

Organizers plan a three-day weekend every autumn for at least five years to feature an IndyCar Series race, American LeMans race, charity gala and other events. Races would take place on a two-mile route that would loop around beachfront A1A and Seabreeze Boulevard south from Las Olas.

Promoters figure the Lauderdale race weekend could attract at least 120,000 people and generate an economic impact topping $70 million, including the indirect impact of TV coverage that could reach more than 100 countries.

Here's a look at some experiences elsewhere:

Long Beach, Calif.:

Basics: The granddaddy of downtown street races, the Long Beach event began in 1975. It was first Formula 5000, then Formula One and now, IndyCar Series racing. Race weekends tend to draw about 170,000 visitors, mostly from California. It's the city's biggest yearly public event.

Economic impact: Promoters estimate $35 million in direct spending from the event yearly on such things as hotels, restaurants and building of the race area. That does not include such indirect impacts as TV exposure.

Financials: Well established, the race is profitable for organizers. Toyota has been the title sponsor since 1980. Promoters pay for city services such as police. The race does not receive subsidies from the city, said Jim Michaelian, who leads Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, the event organizers.

Baltimore, Md.

Basics: The race launched in 2011 and stumbled financially, leaving some city expenses unpaid. Baltimore ended its contract with the first promoter. It signed on new organizers and Andretti Sports Marketing for the second run. The city has a five-year commitment through 2016.

Economic impact: In year one, Forward Analytics estimated 160,000 attendees, 59 percent from Maryland. Most said it was their first Grand Prix. Economic impact reached nearly $47 million, including $37 million in spectator impact, $2 million in tax for the state and $1.7 million in tax for the city.

Financials: The city's contract with new promoters RaceOn LLC calls for pre-payment to the city for certain expenses and a lock-box escrow account to hold the 10 percent tax charged on each ticket. Promoters also must pay $50,000 to affected communities for neighborhood cleaning and greening efforts. Race On also must work toward the city's goals of awarding 25 percent of contracts to qualified Baltimore businesses and hiring Baltimore residents for at least 35 percent of their positions.

Miami, Fla.

Basics: Downtown Miami hosted a 1.2-mile race in 2002 and 2003, part on an 8-acre parking lot. But as construction boomed and the parking lot became a hotel complex, "we basically ran out of room," said Chuck Martinez, former vice president of Championship Auto Racing Teams, organizer of Grand Prix of the Americas. The race was not staged again.

Financials: Organizers lost $1 million the first year, $420,000 the second year and were on track to break even in year three and turn a profit in year four, said Martinez. They invested almost $6 million, including equipment for about two miles of walls and fences. The city provided some price relief for renting sites and for fire, police and city services. It did not provide hotel-tax money for promotions, said Martinez.

Economic impact: About 100,000 people attended the first year and 75,000 the second year, which suffered from bad weather. Organizers raised about $1.5 million in sponsorships. The second-year event featured actress Sofia Vergara as grand marshal. One study estimated an economic impact of more than $50 million, including such indirect impact as TV exposure, said Martinez.

St. Petersburg, Fla.

Basics: Started eight years ago, the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg bills itself as the "world's fastest Spring Break party." The ninth edition is set for a1.8-mile street course from March 22-24, organized by Green Savoree St. Petersburg LLC.

Economic impact: More than 150,000 people attend yearly and by some estimates, spend an average of $120 a day. TV broadcasts the race to as many as 180 million homes in 171 countries. "That's exposure we can't buy," Mayor Bill Foster said in a statement. No detailed economic impact study has been done, but experts say IndyCar races usually generate an economic impact topping $35 million, including indirect impact.

Financials: In some years, organizers have received up to $150,000 of in-kind services from the city, mainly in hours paid for police and fire personnel. If city expenses for the race top $150,000, organizers reimburse the city for the excess.

Opinions on the Lauderdale event

"I think it would be exciting.. It would be bring a lot of exposure to the city." Chuck Martinez, formerly with Championship Auto Racing Teams, organizer of Grand Prix of the Americas in Miami

"The Andretti group, they're very competent. I think it would be a positive addition to the Indy Car schedule." Jim Michaelian, who leads Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, organizer of the veteran California race. South Florida SunSentinel

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