Man, that’s some serious road rage over at the Boston Herald.
Yesterday’s front page (with Inexplicable Little Green Number!):
Today the revvy local tabloid is back at it.
Race critics cry foul on taxpayer funds saying . . .
IT’S ANOTHER RUNAROUND
The type of Grand Prix racing poised to roar through Boston’s streets next year has forced other host cities to inject taxpayer money to keep the motors running — in one case up to $4 million — spotlighting the challenges the Hub faces in avoiding a big public tab for the event, the Herald has found.
“These events do require capital, like any other type of sporting event or facility, and the onus is on the event promoter to be able to make the event work … from a promotional aspect, from an operational standpoint and also as a neighbor,” said Tim Frost, a Chicago-based motorsports business consultant.
“There is a really big economic event in there,” Frost said, and how they’ll avoid tapping public funds is “a very valid question.”
The Herald piece details some of the taxpayer liability in IndyCar cities San Jose, Baltimore, and St. Petersburg, Fla. The filmy local tabloid also provides this helpful video:
Crosstown, meanwhile, the Boston Globe is stuck in first gear, lamely running this piece on today’s C3.
Indy race riles condo owners
S. Boston group’s letter cites safety, noise issues
Residents of a condo complex on the South Boston Waterfront are challenging efforts to turn their street into part of Boston’s first IndyCar race.
In a 14-page letter sent to Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Tuesday, a lawyer representing the Seaport Lofts Condominium Association raised a number of legal issues with the race.
Among them: the allegation that the city improperly negotiated a contract with event organizer Grand Prix of Boston without going through the proper public review.
The condo residents’ goals include blocking the race, scheduled to take place during Labor Day weekend next year, or forcing it to be moved.
But nothing about the hosing taxpayers might get from the five-year event.
Both local dailies, however, are drafting on David Bernstein’s major takeout in Boston magazine three months ago.
Is the Grand Prix Taking Boston for a Ride?
Since Boston is already mired in a mud fight over whether or not the city can afford to host the 2024 Olympics, you might think Mayor Marty Walsh would be reluctant to take on any big, new, public sporting events. Not so. In mid-May, without public hearings, Walsh signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Grand Prix of Boston, clearing the way for the city to host five annual IndyCar road races on the South Boston waterfront, each Labor Day weekend from 2016 to 2020. Speaking by phone on Tuesday, Walsh compared the Grand Prix to the Tall Ships display, which returns to Boston in 2017. “The economic opportunity is something that made me interested in it,” he says.
It’s an interesting comparison, given Boston’s wild, sometimes comical, occasionally acrimonious disagreements about the economic value of the Tall Ships over the past 25 years. Those events either brought close to $1 billion to greater Boston, or were a net loss, or anywhere in between, depending on whom you ask.
Bernstein proceeds to chronicle, in eye-popping detail, the financial burdens the Grand Prix has imposed on other IndyCar cities. If it’s not the definitive piece on this topic, it’ll do until something better comes along.
Take a victory lap, David.