Formula 1 confirms ten year New York deal
26 October, 2011
Oct.25 (Reuters) New Jersey will host a round of the Formula One world championship from 2013 on the banks of the Hudson River, the state governor Chris Christie confirmed Tuesday.
Christie made the announcement, along with the mayors of New Jersey towns West New York and Weehawken, by the river where the street-circuit race will be held, across from Manhattan.
“It is great to be able to say that in June, 2013, Formula One will be here, for three days, for a 3.2 mile (5.1 kilometre) road race, right here at Port Imperial, ” Christie told a news conference.
“You can expect upwards of a 100,000 people to attend each race over the three days. People from all over the world will be coming to New Jersey to see this race on this unique and exciting course.
“I can assure Formula One that this is one of the wisest decisions you have ever made, to come and hold this event in New Jersey”.
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has yet to confirm the new race has been approved but has long supported the idea of holding a race against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline.
Promotors have compared the waterside, road-race aspect of the New Jersey race to that of the famed Monaco Grand Prix.
Christie said the new race would have a significant economic upside for his state.
“In terms of the economic impact it is going to be significant, think about bringing well over 100,000 people into this area to frequent the shops, the restaurants and the hotels, to be staying here for over three days in a celebratory mood watching one of the world’s great road races,” he said.
The U.S. has not hosted a Formula One race since Indianapolis in 2007 but is scheduled to stage a Grand Prix at Austin, Texas from next year.
There has been no indication that the New Jersey race, likely to be paired with the Canadian Grand Prix, also in June, would threaten the United States Grand Prix in Austin.
The New Jersey event will be formally named the Grand Prix of America and will be held on a street course around Port Imperial.
“I have no doubt this will be one of the great marquee racing events in history,” said Howard ‘Humpy’ Wheeler, one of the founders of NASCAR, and a supporter of the F1 event.
Businessman Leo Hindery, one of the organisers of the race, said that no public subsidies would be needed or requested for the race and added that a ten year contract had been agreed.
F1 had previously held races in the state of New York at Watkins Glen in Schuyler County, about 250 miles from New York City.
Watkins Glen International held the United States Grand Prix from 1961 to 1980 while F1 races have also been held at Long Beach in California, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas, Phoenix and Indianapolis.
GMM reports that Tavo Hellmund, the Texas promoter, offered his congratulations and said the two US events – separated by more than 3000 kilometres – can coexist.
“I am excited for the east coast and feel Tuesday’s announcement is yet another acknowledgement of the viability, fan interest, economic benefits and prestige an F1 grand prix event brings to a region,” he said.
Even more excited is F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.
“I’ve been wanting to do this for years,” he told the Bloomberg news agency via telephone. “You’ll be able to see the Manhattan skyline on TV.”