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If the Edmonton Indy was going to be a million-dollar baby as City Councillors had been expecting, they would have wholeheartedly embraced it, according to Coun. Bryan Anderson. Instead, the three-year ask from Octane Racing Group of Montreal exceeded an annual average of $1 million, the number that councillors repeatedly heard for the last several months when all signs pointed to a new deal with a private promoter, rather than a contract extension with Northlands.
That financial curveball led to a 7-5 split in favour of authorizing acting chief financial officer Lorna Rosen to enter into negotiations with Octane on a three-year deal to run the Indy Racing League-sanctioned event at City Centre Airport. “It was a little rich for five councillors,” said Anderson. “Had that ($1 million per year) dollar value been floated it would have been unanimous. It was more. The ask in the first year will come in at about $1.5 million.” Anderson would not say how much financial sponsorship Octane wants from the City in 2012 and 2013, but it’s obviously more than in the first year. “That’s what negotiations are all about.
We asked Lorna Rosen to do the best she can to bring years one and two in line with the first year of the race.” Anderson said the sponsorship commitment was the only contentious issue and that he was happy to see the City will not be covering any potential deficit. The City has already been on the hook for $9.2 million over the first two years.
The budgeted loss for this year’s race is $3.4 million but updated estimates vary from $2 million to $3 million and will be affected by late ticket sales. Anderson said negotiations with Octane over City sponsorship will be complete within 10 days and that he saw a real commitment from the Montreal company to establish a western foothold. Currently they promote the Formula One race and a NASCAR event in Montreal. “They are going to have a permanent office here,” said Anderson. “Their intent is to market themselves in Western Canada and the Northwestern United States. I think their plan is to reinstate Vancouver and to try to get into Calgary. They’ve had phenomenal success in Montreal doing the F1 race.
They’re going to try to use the festival-type experience here that has been successful there and go at it in a bigger way.” Octane spokesperson Normand Prieur said his organization would not comment on the deal until Sunday during an afternoon press conference at the Indy site. IRL commercial division president Terry Angstadt said he was not worried that Council had been split on the Octane proposal. “When someone wins the final game by a point, it’s a win. When someone wins a match by a stroke, it’s still a win. Once it passed it passed and it’s time to move onward and upward.” As for Octane’s plans to hold a race in Calgary in the near future, Angstadt said “there are some rumblings at this point but nothing to be taken seriously.”
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.