2008 Grand Prix of Cleveland race canceled

The event, which was to have taken place from June 20-22, 2008, has been canceled because of the merger of two formerly competing racing teams. The merger of the Indy Racing League (IRL) and the Champ Car World Series resulted in conflicting dates for races, including the Grand Prix of Cleveland.

The new unified racing circuit has chosen to keep its race in Iowa that weekend and cancel Cleveland. That breaks a 26 year continuous run for the Cleveland race, which became known as the "Roar on the Shore."

Champ Car owner Michael T. Lanigan said today, "Due to the complicated and last-minute nature of this merger, the Cleveland date could be accommodated for 2008."

When the Grand Prix and the City of Cleveland signed a 5-year contract in November, 2007, Mayor Frank Jackson said the race had a $30 million yearly economic impact on the city.

Attendance in 2007 grew more than 31% to 151,000 fans according to promoters. Cleveland City Council President Martin Sweeney called the race one of Cleveland's "unique assets."

Lanigan did say that plans are underway to keep Cleveland on the racing circuit in 2009.

"We are excited about the prospect of bringing this new series to Cleveland in 2009 and we are already in discussions about that possibility," Lanigan said in a prepared statement. WKYC

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