grand prix of boston

Photo: Grand Prix of Boston

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

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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 (WCVB.com), 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 Boston.com.

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 Boston.com 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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