By now you’ve probably heard the Grand Prix of Boston, scheduled for Labor Day weekend, has been cancelled. If you haven’t heard that, then you probably should be reading more sites than this one.
Regardless, all parties involved have brought out their blamethrowers. The Promoter says The City was unreasonably demanding last-minute permits. The City says The Promoter wouldn’t guarantee that The City wouldn’t lose money on the deal. And The Series is. . .disappointed.
And here we are, for the second year in a row, having a race cancelled from an already thin schedule of events. Compare and contrast these two statements from Indycar.
“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.”
– regarding Boston, 4/29/2016
“Today’s announcement by BAND that the March 8 INDYCAR race in Brasília was cancelled was both unexpected and disappointing.”
– regarding Brasilia, 1/29/2015
In both cases, the reaction is subdued. Of course, the series isn’t going to issue a statement filled with expletives and invective, because that’s not how they roll. And I get that in the case of Boston the contract was shredded as a result of disputes between The City and The Promoter, but ultimately any stories of this sad event (or non-event) will have the name “Indycar” attached.
There are many things I don’t understand. Like WordPress. And why my oldest daughter still likes Justin Bieber. And why a motorsport series would allow two other parties to determine the fate of a an event scheduled on their calendar. Or put another way, why is an event on a schedule when there are still more committees to appease and contracts to sign? For fark’s sake, This is their brand.
(You’re not going to reference that awful “Our Brand Is Crisis” movie, are you? – The Spotter)
This is twice in two years now, and as Robin Miller notes, these aren’t exactly the only two times that races have been cancelled a handful of months or even weeks before they were scheduled to occur. Now, you don’t need me to tell you that this won’t sit well with fans, because I know you’re one of the 19 fans left in the sport. But cancelling events goes beyond simply upsetting the ticket buyers. An impromptu slimming of the schedule isn’t going to attract sponsorship, and moreover it isn’t going to sit well with existing sponsorship – of either teams or The Series – who realize their dollars aren’t going to buy all the races they thought they would get. You’ve gotta protect the brand, man!
There are either reports or wild-ass speculation that the race can be replaced, possibly at Rhode Island. But we’ve heard rumors of racing at Rhode Island before, right? And then there’s the possibility of racing at Oklahoma City. Ahem. In the real world though., there are four months between now and Labor Day and some folks are seriously talking that a replacement event is going to get done, and that would be funtastic, but. . .come on, at this point that only happens if Mark Miles finds a magic lamp on the banks of the Wabash and rubs it just so. I mean, at this point we might as well throw Moon Base Alpha into the rumor mill.
Side note: the best suggestion I’ve seen so far was Rainbow Road.
I’m not sure what’s going to be more painful: the fact that there will be a span of seven weeks with a single event, or that there will be no race on Labor Day weekend. I’m going to go with the former since The Series has often gone without a Labor Day weekend event. But that begs a questions for my friends who might know: why isn’t there some race slated for every Labor Day weekend??? I mean, the event slotted on Memorial Day weekend has been fairly successful, right?
In case you were wondering, here’s how Labor Day weekend has shaken out this century:
- 2015 N/A (season over 8/30/15)
- 2014 Fontana
- 2013 Baltimore
- 2012 Baltimore
- 2011 Sonoma
- 2010 Kentucky
- 2009 N/A
- 2008 Detroit
- 2007 Detroit
- 2006 N/A
- 2005 N/A
- 2004 N/A
- 2003 N/A
- 2002 N/A
- 2001 Chicagoland
Final Lap: Does anyone else recall that, shortly after the Brasilia race was cancelled, Indycar CEO Mark Miles said The Series desired a 20-race schedule by 2017?
“I think we’ll be closer to that goal in 2016,” Miles said. “And I think I’d be very disappointed if we weren’t there by 2017.”
Yes, he really said “disappointed” again. This calls for John Lydon to speak for all of us, as only he can.