How are doubleheaders viable?

A reader asks, Intriguing about Champ Cars and ALMS and the possibility of running Sebring, but I do have one major question for you. How would sanctioning fees work? I can't imagine Sebring, already having a huge crowd of spring-breakers and partiers, paying anything additional for a Champ Car race. Likewise, it's hard to imagine Long Beach paying for an ALMS race when the other series traditionally pay to be on that weekend. With the costs of putting on a street race, could a first-year venue like Houston afford to pay two sanctioning fees? Artistically, this would be a big hit, but financially, it seems like this will be a loser to be running races without sanctioning fees. Richard G., Springfield, Ohio

While we are not privy to the financial arrangements of such a deal, we can speculate. Sunday at Sebring will probably be sold as a separate ticket for those who come for Sunday only to see the Champ Cars. Those already there for the 12 hour race who stay, stay. A good number will leave Saturday night, which they are accustomed to doing, to be replaced by Camp Car fans who pay to get in to see Sunday's event. I suspect Sebring will probably raise all ticket prices slightly as well. We would assume that the extra revenue generated will cover the sanction fee. We also suspect that Champ Car finds value in presenting its product in front of so many college students.

At Long Beach we suspect the GP will take in a lot of additional revenue from the manufacturers and sponsors in ALMS – hospitality suites, tickets to customers, etc, and that extra revenue will pay the ALMS sanction fee. Ditto for other urban venues where ALMS manufacturers and sponsors are begging to get in. Kevin Kalkhoven is a smart businessman who understands how to make a profit better than anyone. If he thinks it is feasible, we will see the doubleheaders. If not, we won't. Mark C.

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