Is the Grand Prix of Boston cancelled? That’s what area media outlets are reporting Friday night, citing comments from race promoters and an unnamed source at City Hall.
The Boston Herald states that promoters are citing “deteriorated relations with the city and state” as the reason for pulling the plug, while the Boston Globe has Grand Prix president John Casey saying that “the relationship between us and the city is not working.” The Herald also claimed that an unspecified source at City Hall had confirmed the cancellation.
IndyCar, however, issued its own statement Friday that seems to indicate the league is as in the dark as race fans. Below is the league statement in full:
IndyCar was made aware of the news involving the Grand Prix of Boston this evening. We are obviously disappointed with these media reports and are in the process of gathering additional details and will respond accordingly at the appropriate time.
At this stage it is premature for IndyCar to comment further on the situation locally in Boston or the prospect of an alternate event.
That means fans should likely wait for official word from the league that the Sept. 4 race is off, but if that word does indeed come it’s not exactly out of nowhere. Rumors about issues with government officials have been circulating almost since the Boston race was put onto the schedule last year, leading to a persistent cloud of uneasiness even as league reps remained optimistic that the event would happen.
A cancellation would put IndyCar into a midseason hole. An event would need to be lined up to replace Boston on the calendar, and arranged on short notice – which if anything this whole debacle has proven isn’t easy. So many officials and so much paperwork must be done before a race can be put on. Any backup venue would have less than five months to not only lock down details on their end, but also secure sponsorship, promotion and ticket sales.
That is to say nothing of the fans who have already purchased tickets for the Grand Prix of Boston, and who will be disappointed in not getting to see a Verizon IndyCar Series race come to the Northeast market. None of the other races on the 2016 schedule are particularly close to the same area, so even though fans will obviously have to be refunded it’s not as if they can just go to another event.
It’s a shame for the drivers as well. In January, current points leader Simon Pagenaud was able to drive the proposed Boston course and spoke very highly of it. “The layout is very fun and the track itself is in a fast-growing area with great dynamic,” he enthused. “I should be able to get good speed because the wide track, fast corners and smooth roads after all of the work [is completed] will most likely make this track one of the fastest tracks there is.”
IndyCar Examiner will update this article as more information on the Grand Prix of Boston becomes available.
For more on the Verizon IndyCar Series, visit the league’s website.