Report: NOLA Motorsports Park sued by Indy event organizers


File this one under the “not good” department, for both the Verizon IndyCar Series and the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana.

A report from the New Orleans Advocate has indicated that race event organizers Andretti Sports Marketing filed a federal lawsuit against NOLA Motorsports Park.

The report said there have been some vendors, rather than the event organizers, getting paid in full.

An excerpt from the Advocate report reads:


Andretti signed a three-year contract to organize the Grand Prix beginning in 2015; the agreement said only $2.6 million of the state money would be used on track upgrades. Andretti said it was assured there would be enough money left over to compensate it for all of its services.

Instead, the lawsuit claims, $3.4 million of the state grant ended up being spent on improvements, leaving Andretti and other vendors short.

Neither the NOLA Motorsports Park track president nor Andretti Sports Marketing president responded for comment, following inquiries by the Advocate.

Andretti has the race on a three-year deal through 2017, but this year’s first race weekend featured several challenges, most notably miserable weather.

John Lopes, Andretti Sports Marketing president, told MotorSportsTalk in April that if the weather was different, “we’d be having a different conversation” about the race itself.

Andretti Sports Marketing is promoting three open-wheel events in 2015. It has already done the Miami ePrix, which went off well despite initial track delays on Saturday morning, the NOLA race, which had its aforementioned challenges, and also the Milwaukee IndyFest, which occurs on July 12.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”