SPORTS

Edmonton Indy permanently parked

09/21/2012 06:18 EDT | Updated 11/21/2012 05:12 EST
The city has permanently parked the 2013 Edmonton Indy after operator Octane Motorsports pulled out of the car race.

“It’s just an event that’s run its course,” said Lorna Rosen, the city's chief financial officer.

Rosen says the city had a $5.5 million contract to promote the race from 2010-2013, but Octane withdrew after two years due to a lack of attendance and trouble finding sponsorship for the event.

“Did they give it a fair chance over these past two years? I really do think they put a fair amount of effort into it,” she said.

The city estimates that the race brought in around $80 million in economic activity and an additional $18 million in media attention.

Despite the benefit, Rosen says they will not look for other promoters to put on the race for next summer.

“There really only was the one choice at that time … there’s not actually an over abundance of race promoters in Canada.”

Sponsors say Indy 'tough to replace'

Indy drivers and sponsors were disappointed by the announcement.

"Everyone is going to be very panicked, initially. It's very natural," said Stefan Rzadzinski, who raced in the 2011 Edmonton Indy.

He says the event brought in fans from outside the city and helped Edmonton gain international attention, which will now be missing without the race.

Rzadzinski is hopeful that another promoter might still step in and take over the race.

"My dream is to win the Edmonton Indy, here in Edmonton, growing up 10-15 minutes from the track," he said.

Colin Livingston is the president of Cantorque, an industrial tool company that spends more than $100,000 on Indy sponsorship.

He says if the race is cut, it will cost the city more than just attention.

"If the race isn't here for us to spend the marketing dollars, we are going to go to the city that has the race," Livingston said.

"Edmonton always seems like the kind of city that wishes it had a little more ... we have these great showcase events ... it's really tough to replace that kind of exposure."

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