INDYCAR’s race in Boston is off, first with multiple local reports and later the sanctioning body posting confirmation that the second-to-last race of the year is now back in the TBD department.
Both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald, reported the cancellation of the event, which was scheduled for Sept. 2-4, 2016, Labor Day weekend.
John Casey, president of the Grand Prix of Boston, told the Globe the relationship between it and the city is “untenable.”
He also said the race promoters are “willing to do without the headaches of Boston.”
A company email told the Herald that the planned Seaport race cited “deteriorated relations with the city and the state.”
Casey told the Herald that “I feel like I got out of an abusive relationship.”
A statement from Patrick Brophy, Chief of Operations for the City of Boston, reads:
“The City of Boston will always be open to opportunities that will positively showcase our city, however as we continued to work with Boston Grand Prix they were unwilling or unable to meet the necessary requirements to hold an event of this size. The Mayor feels strongly in protecting the taxpayers and limiting the impact to residents, and we are not shy that we held them to very high standards.”
INDYCAR released a statement which reads:
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.
Here’s the statement from the Grand Prix of Boston organizers:
After nearly two years of planning and preparing for the Grand Prix of Boston race organizers have decided that the current demands to secure additional line of credit funding make the race fiscally untenable to be held in the City of Boston and the Seaport district September 2-4, 2016.
“An event of this magnitude requires considerable city and state support and though we did overcome significant obstacles and demands that have been presented to us, the most recent demands regarding the flood zone issues and requirements of additional expenditure on the line of credit with no guarantees of overcoming those issues have left us no options but to cancel the race in Boston and look at other options,” said John Casey, CEO and President of the Grand Prix of Boston. “At this juncture the demands that have been asked of us make this event in Boston economically unviable and despite robust corporate partnerships and excellent tickets sales, if we have no guarantee of MEPA approval then time was of the essence to make this difficult decision. It is very disappointing for everyone who has worked so hard on the event and all of our corporate partners and fans who have supported the Grand Prix of Boston. We have had a team of over 50 people, as well as the city and state agency personnel who have been working tirelessly to find successful and viable solutions and unfortunately we are at an impasse. We are exploring all options and will have further information available in the coming days.”
Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., INDYCAR’s parent company told veteran reporter Bruce Martin for National Speed Sport News, “We will assess the situation and see where we go from here. There may be other possibilities for this Labor Day.”
Additional Miles tidbits are below, via the Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin and USA Today Sports‘ Brant James:
An alternative venue could be possible; the Herald suggested it could move to Providence.
The Boston race weekend affects more than just IndyCar. The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America and SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks, Presented by TRAXXAS were also on the dance card.