APRIL 13, 1998
Ecclestone in America
AFTER the Brazilian Grand Prix Bernie Ecclestone took off to the United States to visit some of the people promoting the idea of races in the US. His major port of call was Las Vegas where a decision is due within a matter of days over whether or not a parcel of land will be released for the construction of a golf course/racing circuit. If that decision goes in favor of the project there will be a US Grand Prix in Las Vegas, probably in the year 2000. The entire project is going to be bankrolled by the city's casino owners, notably Mirage Resorts and Circus Circus.
Bernie then went on to visit San Francisco where the mayor Willie Brown is backing a scheme to run a race in the Presidio parkland, close to the Golden Gate bridge. This is not thought likely to happen if the race in Vegas goes ahead and Ecclestone himself says that the city is not perfect for F1 as the coverage of any race would be arriving in Europe and Asia in the middle of the night.
Ecclestone then went on to Long Beach where he met with Chris Pook. Pook recently floated the company which runs the race and is working on a number of other projects across the US, notably in Atlanta and in Dallas. It is possible that Bernie would agree to a second GP in the US if one could be organized on the East Coast. Bernie remains convinced that the best location for a race in the east is central Florida but the negotiations which took place with Disney have long since faded.
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