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« I Stand with Norway | Main | Notes from the 2011 IndyCar Race in Edmonton »

July 24, 2011


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Agreed. Cavin's doing a very good job this weekend.

Leigh O'Gorman

16,000 seats?? I know there'll be a deal of general admission attendees, but still - only 16,000 seats...

Ron Ford

I have attended races at the Milwaukee Mile since 1950. In my opinion attendence at that race can return to 30-40,000 with a title sponsor, better marketing, and more promising weather than we had this year.

However, Randy Bernard has gone on record as saying even that will not be enough to guarantee a return of IndyCar to the Mile.

As Bill has noted here, that certainly calls into question how in the hell does Edmonton gets a race with 16,000 seats? Toronto also does not have many seats. What is the difference? What makes Edmonton viable and not Milwaukee? I for one doubt that the racing will be better.

I believe that Randy on behalf of IndyCar should address just what his/their vision is for IndyCar. Randy has recenty been quoted as saying he would like to see IndyCar in Europe. Why?! Why do we need a second twisty race in Brazil?! It has to cost huge amounts of money to pack and fly the whole IndyCar experience overseas. Why not save that money and concentrate on reducing the cost of the IndyCar business model? I believe that the IndyCar business model needs some transparency. Randy, you got some splainin' to do!

Ron Ford

I just want to add that my remarks above do not in any way indicate that I dislike Canadians. Quite the opposite actually and I will be watching the race with an ice cold bottle of Moosehead beer:)


Isn't the profit margin the deciding factor of the success of an event, not necessarily number of attendees? I mean you get 200,000+ at Indy and 40,000 at Iowa but they're both successful races right? So doesn't it depend more on the specifics of the contract with the venue? I'm not defending anything, asking questions really.

For an old oval guy, I'm really looking forward to the race today.


Someone at one of the "hater" site did an analysis of the seats available for Toronto, and the number of seats wasn't too different than the number Cavin got for Edmonton. Toronto surely has had "shrinkage" since the glory days. Hell, the ever popular Long Beach too...go on youtube and lookup the 1991 Fittipaldi/Andretti pitlane crash and notice who much bigger the front stretch stands used to be. Sigh. No ones written about what the realistic Long Beach attendance is these days vs. what it used to be.

Have to presume that Milwaukee got publicly called out because of internal IndyCar politics. Edmonton too? Cavin is hard figure sometimes...sometimes he writes truth to power pieces, sometimes he writes "Everything in the IndyCar Series is Sunshine and Lollipops" pieces.

Ron Ford

Like redcar I am really just asking questions here. What exactly makes one race financially viable and another not. From the standpoint of a longtime fan wanting to help make the Milwaukee Mile a financial success, what exactly will be required beyond filling the stands since total attendence does not seem to be the only criteria.

Ben Twickerbill

I understand the logic regarding siting of low attendance at one track and not another. But again, there were several factors that contributed to relatively low attendance at Milwaukee.
1. Multiple races on multiple weekend days.
2. Lousy weather.
3. Poor promotion.

And as an aside, that was possibly the WORST race (crashfest) I have ever seen at the mile. The fact that there is now a less than lane and a half racing groove did not help in the least.


Success means different things to promoters and the IRL. For a promoter, it's about making a profit, for the league it's TV ratings which turn into sponsorship money for teams and the league. Without good ratings and a strong paddock, the decline for the promoter is evident in two areas: lack of race sponsorship and lower attendance, hence fewer filled seats. (Temp. circuits can put up fewer grandstands to cut costs, essentially putting them up as they sell, while permanent facilities might put up banners to cover the sea of empty seats.)
To put on an IRL race at your track, the weekend will cost you $4 million in expenses for a permanent facility, twice that for a temporary street circuit. You can sell $1 worth of tickets (with 25,000 folks on Sunday), but the rest of your nut needs to be covered by sponsorship and hospitality. Those only come when the paddock is filled with retail sponsors supporting cars, sponsors willing to spend to activate their investment. Not happening.


There's almost always a taxpayer sugar daddy kicking in for a street race. The cities of Toronto and Edmonton have shelled out (and some would say taken a beating) for the races in the past. The theory is the tax dollars help bring in fans who spend and generate more in tax revenue that it costs to put on the race, making it a net gain for the city and merchants. Whether that theory works in practice is the subject of a long-raging debate.


P'Dog, the theory you cite ONLY works when there is attendance; significant attendance.
My only hope for Edmonton AND Toronto is that there is expansion room for more seats.

We had great seats at Toronto years ago during CART's hayday, but we spent most of the race walking the track for different views. I noticed a lot of track side spectators at the actual race yesterday.

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