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July 06, 2010

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Leigh O'Gorman

Hmmm... laying the pressure on Austin already?

ElMondo

1. I'll believe the Texas race when I see it. I mean, they still need some basics taken care of... **like the freakin' racetrack itself!**

2. Yes, Bernie would love New York. Too bad NY'ers aren't necessarily enamored of the idea of a race in their city. But that said, if Bernie manages to convince either NYC or Vegas to host a street race - not build a track somewhere 20 miles out of town, but host an honest-to-goodness race on their existing boulevards - I'll concede that Bernie's got some mad sales skills. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing such a race, but it's not me that needs convincing.

GeorgeK

1. Vegas don't need no stinkin' F1 race. They tried that before and it didn't work, why now? None of the casino owners want the suckers leaving the prenmises to go watch a race; they might realize how broke they are and go home.

2. New Yorkers don't want no stinkin' F1 race within city limits, regardless of any success it might bring. I live in Connecticut, and I would rather put a sharp stick in my eye rather then try to access Manhatten if an F1 race was held there. When you tell a New Yorker that you want a race in "New York" or "The City", the reference is understood to mean Manhatten.

Tom G.

I think the title of this post should read

"Bernie, still interested in Bernie"

Texas, NYC, Vegas, etc... it's all about what's best ($$$$) for Bernie.

pressdog

I think you've said it exactly, Tom G. And Bernie knows how to work the media to put pressure on others/advance his interests. If there's a market for it, it makes sense for F1 to do a multi-stop US swing. Not sure there is a market for it. I'm pretty surprised that the city/county government in Austin is willing to fork over jumbo cash in a time when local governments are laying off people, facing red ink, etc. etc. I would say that's going to be a tough sell in Austin. I guess we'll see.

ElMondo

Yes, it's true that neither NYC or Vegas needs or wants an F1 race, but if I remember correctly, Ecclestone had once included Vegas on his list of desireable locations. GeorgeK is right, of course: The casinos themselves don't want any distractions that could draw their whales away from the tables, so there's no way in hell they'd ever agree to one. And New York City is simply apathetic to the idea. But that's why I said that if somehow either happened, I'd be amazed at his marketing skills. It'd be a step above selling air conditioning to Eskimos; it's be more like selling agnosticism to the Vatican. So if Bernie found a promoter who could actually convince either city to hold a race, I'd be in open awe. That promoter would literally be turning negative opinions around, not merely convincing neutral populations.

------

And Pressdog too has a point: Austin? Where's the racing crowd there? And where would the crowd outside of Austin come from? Places like NYC or Vegas - or Miami, or other natural tourist/vacation destinations - would be natural locations for an international race series like Formula One, but Austin? I'm sorry, but I think this is much more a case of Bernie being nice to a friend (the promoter Tavo Hellmund) and saying positive things than it being any sort of reality. To use a software term: This sounds like vaporware. I'll believe it's possible when the track goes up; I'll believe it's happening when the cars show up. Until then, I'm skeptical of a race happening there. And even if everything worked out and they showed, I still need to be shown where the crowd will be drawn from. Austin's an awesome town, but that in and of itself wouldn't tempt F1 fans to make the trip. There's no natural market for such a race there.

GeorgeK

@ElMondo:

"It'd be a step above selling air conditioning to Eskimos; it's be more like selling agnosticism to the Vatican."

Most excellent!

rj

"And where would the crowd outside of Austin come from?"

Latin America for one.

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