Report: Massachusetts mulling lawsuit against organizers of failed Boston Grand Prix

Photo: Grand Prix of Boston

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is reportedly considering suing promoters of the failed Verizon IndyCar Series race that was to be held Labor Day weekend in Boston, according to media reports.

According to WCVB TV (, among the reasons for a likely suit is Grand Prix of Boston promoters have allegedly not come up with a way to reimburse an estimated 22,000 fans who previously purchased tickets for the race, which was officially cancelled April 30.

Several media reports peg the total amount owed to ticketholders at $2 million.

The scheduled race has since been moved to Watkins Glen International, on the same weekend as the Boston race would have been held on.

Healey had given race promoters a 5 p.m. ET Monday deadline to submit a reimbursement plan, according to WCVB and other media outlets, including

Even though race officials reportedly had plans in place for reimbursement of ticket prices, Healey still sent out letters of notification of a potential lawsuit in the works to officials of the Grand Prix of Boston, GPB CEO John Casey and the INDYCAR sanctioning body.

WCVB reported that race organizers did not have enough money to reimburse ticket buyers. The TV station also indicated that sponsors and vendors are also owed money, but Healey has not indicated whether the lawsuit would eventually contain them as plaintiffs, as well.

Race organizers reportedly are working on a new reimbursement plan to submit to Healey before she decides whether to go forward with legal action.

One ticket holder, Jason Sawyer, told WCVB that he is owed nearly $750 in reimbursement for four tickets he purchased.

“I feel ripped off. I’m mad, I’m really upset,” Sawyer told WCVB. “I want to know where the money went. You didn’t hold it, did you spend it? They didn’t even hold the race, I want to know where the money went.”

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has already filed suit to recoup more than $14,500 plus damages and fees from race organizers.

INDYCAR is also working on a plan to appease ticket buyers and others.

“Our objective is to protect our fans and ensure that all ticket holders receive reimbursement from the Boston Grand Prix,” Stephen Starks, IndyCar vice president of promoter relations said in a statement. “As we’ve stated before, it is the Boston Grand Prix that is responsible for distributing the funds received from all ticket sales.

“To this end, we are continuing our conversations with the relevant parties in Boston, including the Attorney General’s office, to reach a resolution to this concern.”

Michael J. Goldberg, an attorney for race organizers, told that efforts are being made to raise additional money to pay ticket holders, vendors and the like.

“We are now, and have been, in discussions with investors, sponsors and other stakeholders to ascertain their willingness to contribute to a fund to help pay for refunds to ticket holders, and we have kept the AG’s office fully informed of our efforts,” Goldberg said in a statement.

Goldberg added that the GPB “cannot know the timetable for raising any of the needed funds. In the meantime, we are working in good faith toward a satisfactory resolution.”

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NTT re-signs as IndyCar title sponsor in multiyear deal starting with the 2024 season

James Black/Penske Entertainment

The IndyCar Series has re-signed NTT as its title sponsor in a multiyear agreement starting in 2024.

NTT, a global information technology and communications company based in Japan, became the series’ title sponsor before the 2019 season after starting as a sponsor of the No. 10 Dallara-Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.

NTT Data (a subsidiary of parent company Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.) will remain the official technology partner of IndyCar, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indy 500 and the NASCAR Brickyard weekend.

With the extension, an IndyCar spokesman said NTT would become the second-longest title sponsor in series history. The longest title sponsor was PPG from 1980-97 (under the CART sanction of the Champ Car Series).

NTT replaced Verizon, which was IndyCar’s title sponsor from 2014-18 after IZOD from 2010-13.

“NTT is an excellent partner across our enterprise with strong expertise and a deep commitment to our sport,” Penske Corp. chairman and IndyCar owner Roger Penske said in a release. “From Smart Venue technology at the Racing Capital of the World to the reimagined Series mobile application, NTT is transforming the fan experience in new and innovative ways. We look forward to a bright future together.”

NTT has used artificial intelligence-enabled optical detection technology at IMS to provide information to the track’s operations and security teams, helping improve fan traffic flow and safety, the track said.

“IndyCar is a great partner for NTT Data because of our shared commitment to driving innovation, increasing sustainability and delivering amazing experiences,” NTT Data CEO Kaz Nishihata said in a release. “We also appreciate how IndyCar is so diverse, with drivers from 15 different countries, and races that range from short ovals and superspeedways to road and street courses. It’s both an incredible sport and a wonderful example for our world.”

NTT also has been instrumental in helping redesign the IndyCar app and providing more race and driver data for use in NBC Sports’ broadcasts by utilizing 140 data points from every car in the field.

“NTT is fully invested in the development and growth of our sport and has already established a terrific track record in our industry with problem-solving capabilities and access to top talent and tools,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said.

Said NTT Data Services CEO Bob Pryor: “We’re thrilled to continue our collaborations that enhance and expand the fan experience for motorsports and serve as proof points for data analytics, AI, and other innovative digital technologies. For more than a century, this racing series has pioneered innovations making driving safer for everyone, and by continuing this relationship, we will accelerate the pace of innovations and new technologies, particularly related to sustainability that ultimately can benefit organizations, communities and individuals around the world.”

Starting as a Japanese telephone company, NTT grew into a $100 billion-plus tech services giant with U.S. operations based in Plano, Texas.