• IndyCar racing set to take another run at OKC event

    The City of Oklahoma City has been approached by a promoter to enter into exclusive negotiations for the purpose of possibly conducting and hosting a Verizon IndyCar Series motorsports race event sometime in 2017 or 2018.

    In 2010, the City Council voted down a measure which would have brought a race to the streets of downtown. The event would have required the city to make $6.9 million in improvements.

    Mayor Mick Cornett was the main advocate for the Grand Prix in 2010, telling the council he had worked for 5 years to bring racing downtown. Cornett and Meg Salyer were the only council members to vote in favor of the event, with 6 votes against.

    The IndyCar Series (known as the Verizon IndyCar Series for sponsorship reasons) is the premier level of open wheel racing in North America and this season's series features 15 races, four of which will be on the downtown streets of cities: Long Beach, Boston, St. Petersburg and Toronto.

    The Long Beach race has been a staple in Southern California since 1975 and routinely draws around 175,000 spectators.

    All the races are nationally televised by NBC or one of its affiliated cable channels.

    Boston will be hosting a race for the first time later this year, after the city evaluated the pros and cons on the heals of Baltimore choosing not to renew their race agreement
    after their first foray into IndyCar racing met with mixed reviews from business owners who questioned the final economic benefit to the city.

    The Oklahoma City Council will vote tomorrow on the measure that would allow the City Manager to begin negotiations with Mark Perone, who has been the promoter for many of the other IndyCar races in North America.

    Any final plans for expenditures or street closures would have to be subsequently approved by city council as well.
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