JULY 4, 2006
Indianapolis authorities "open" to cash for speedway
The mayor of Indianapolis Bart Peterson says that the city is "open to getting involved" if Indianapolis Motor Speedway asks for financial help to secure the United States Grand Prix at the venue. Peterson makes no secret of the fact that the event is a huge bonus for the city with economic impact studies suggesting that it is worth around $160m a year for the city in revenue that was not previously available. The majority of the fans who come to watch the race come from aboard although there is potential to develop this further as the city is somewhat restricted by the fact that there are only 28,000 hotel rooms in the Indianapolis metropolitan area. This means that tens of thousands of fans must be either driving in for the day or staying in recreational vehicles close to the track. Indianapolis has a population of 1.6m but there are a total of 6m people in the state of Indiana. Cincinnati, two hours away, boasts 1.6m people and Chicago (2.8m) is three hours drive.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway has not to date asked the state for any cash to help but with the asking price for an F1 race now around the $18m mark 9with a 10% increase every year), it might be something that the circuit would like to do as it negotiates a new contract with the Formula One group.
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