Long Beach Notes

TG not buying LBGP;

TG is not likely to buy the LBGP, anyone with an ounce of business sense knows that 25M is too much to pay for the LBGP so it is easy to discount that rumor, at least for that price. And although I also agree that the IRL has a shot at the LBGP because Champcar “bailed” on the St. Petersburg event it cannot be forgotten that these two series are businesses. I remind everyone that it is doubtful that even the claimed 70,000 IRL weekend attendance at St. Petersburg was enough to break even. Dover and Champcar lost money at St. Petersburg as well. Champcar’s decision to bail was likely heavily influenced by that loss. Again these are businesses; if one survives it will be because it makes money.

What if Champcar looses the prix;

What does it really mean if Champcar looses the GP. Well, it is no doubt a huge blow to the CCWS coffer. The GP is second only to the Indy 500 in revenue for an open wheel event in North America….hmmm no wonder TG wants it. There will be a big negative trickle down effect in all aspects of the series. Can that be made up on the streets of LA? I doubt it. Should they loose it, I doubt that CCWS could hold another event before the 2006 LBGP. I think their back up plan might be Las Vegas! Anyway if they continue to draw the crowds as they have in Mexico and Canada as I suspect they will, they will make money. And if they loose the LBGP in the process so be it. I won’t like it but it is what it is.

Where’s the mission statement?

CCWS still doesn’t have a mission statement; perhaps if they did we could better understand how they intend to run their business.


What will it take to get decent television coverage in the future? CCWS certainly needs some help in this area. As I sat there at the beginning of the race my cell rang. It was my wife calling to ask if I had given her the correct information for recording it because the channel she was watching had football on it. Unbelievable!

Mario Doesn't Work Here Anymore

I never thought I would ever say this but it time for Mario, yes Mario Andretti to take a vacation. Time to quit meddling in the IRL/CCWS controversy. Time to leave the racing business to them. One of the greatest racing drivers ever should leave the new business of racing alone and let open wheel racing evolve as it will.

I had the opportunity to listen to Mario twice, both times at Road America, and each time I came away thinking, boy Mario has an opinion about everything. Both times he dominated conversation to the obvious dismay of the other panelists. Yes he saved the 2003 Road America event………or did he, now I wonder. Mario is becoming a lot of hot air.

Mario go make wine or something or if you really want to become involved dust of the old wallet and buy your right to interfere.

We still love you …….for now!

Long Beach Grand Prix Could Net Dover Over 9 Million

LBGP by the number$

Information gleaned from the 10k, the annual report that is required by the SEC to be filed by all corporations, filed by Dover Motor sports clearly shows that Dover Motor sports had revenues from the 2004 Long Beach Grand Prix of $8,986,000 dollars. If there is a modest increase in the revenues from this year’s event they could be looking at over $9,000,000. Dover’s share of ticket revenues is approximately 39% of top line revenues ($93,817,000 for 2004) according to their 10k. 39% of the 2004 revenues for the LBGP works out to $3,504,000. The remainder of the revenue comes from TV rights and fees, sponsorship fees, suite rentals, hospitality and catering, concessions, souvenir sales, vendor commissions and grandstand rentals.

Total ticket revenues become more of a guess though clearly 3.5M cannot be the total. If we assume that 50,000 three day passes were sold for an average of 110 dollars ($5,500,000) and the balance of the estimated 170,000 in attendance only purchased a $35.00 ticket for Friday or Saturday ($5,950,000) then the total from ticket sales alone exceeds $10,000.000. This would suggest that it is likely that CCWS and the city are sharing in the ticket sales also.

Champ car’s share would be strictly a guess but I wouldn’t be surprised if they collected at least 2.5M in ticket sales. Add that to the 2.4M sanctioning fee that we keep hearing about in the media and CCWS has a nice 5M revenue stream from the LBGP alone.

So what happens to the rest of the ticket revenues…only those who counted the money really know! Perhaps CCWS gets more or the city gets some, it could be a part of the $40,000,000 that is estimated to be what the city reaps from the event. We aren’t likely to ever know for sure.

This certainly looks to be a profitable event for all parties. 9 million is almost 10% of Dover’s top line for the year and given they are promoting 16 events this one certainly contributes more than its share to their business. I can’t imagine why Dover would be the slightest bit interested in giving up the event. Of course most everything is for sale and perhaps they think that this event does not have a future given the state of open U.S. open wheel racing. It will be very interesting to see if any of the rumors hold water. From a financial standpoint I say Dover retains the rights to the GP.

Powered by Ford... Drivers get your Cobras Here

Ford has agreed to a multi-year (2-3-4???) extension of their agreement with CCWS. They will provide high performance machines to the fast lap program, F150s to the safety team, and an allotment of vehicles to each Champ Car team.

"Ford Motor Company will retain its presence on the Ford-Cosworth XFE engines that power every car in the Champ Car World Series, continuing as the exclusive engine supplier to the series." ccws

WickerBill sez;

Ford badges stay on the engines......... Hmmm perhaps Kevin got a discount!

Time to Reflect

As we prepare for the season opener a mere 5 days from now we need to reflect upon how this series came to be what it is today. But for 3 committed individuals with a few dollars to spend, we would all be watching another form of racing. The demise of CART was told by many in many different ways and sadly so. The future of this series will depend on the business acumen of the current owners, nothing more and nothing less. I make this point abundantly clear in my article The Business of Champ Car

So let’s allow the three business leaders to develop the series as they see fit and hope their vision for the future of champ car racing will bring new glory to a series that was raped and pillaged by the previous regime.

Authors note:

In Bob Jennings’ World O’ Racing November 2001 article he covers some of the goings on inside CART. It’s a difficult read for the diehard Champ Car fan but if you didn’t already know you will find them intriguing. The diehard fan probable won’t make it past the first paragraph.

If you dare, follow the link. More Salt in The Wound

New hybrid cars

We would talk about the new hybrid cars or to say future hybrid cars going to available in the market in near future. First lets look at the present oil prices. This week average gas price per gallon in US is $2.15 compared to last week of $2.11, it is quite a increase. A year ago the gas prices per gallon was $1.76. Trend shows that it is the right time to go green.

Some of the future or new hybrid cars going to be available in the market are:

2007 Chevy Malibu Hybrid:
2007 Chevy Malibu Hybrid is going to have similar hybrid system as planned Saturn VUE SUV hybrid. The car will have a 12 to 15% increases in fuel economy. 2007 Chevy Malibu Hybrid will have automatic transmission with 4 cylinder, 2.4-liter engine with front-wheel drive. Less then 6 miles an hour and the engine shuts down thus car runs on battery system. This car is going to be built at Kansas City. 2007 Chevy Malibu Hybrid is going to have 24 miles and 35 miles per gallon on city and highway respectively.

2006 Nissan Altima Hybrid:
Nissan is not going to develop any hybrid program. Sole intention of introducing 2006 Nissan Altima Hybrid is to meet fuel economy and emissions standards in some states like California. Altima is buying hybrid technology from Toyota to build the car. The primary focus of 2006 Nissan Altima Hybrid will not be the fuel economy or reduced emission but the car will try to match performance and acceleration of non-hybrid models.

2007 Toyota Sienna Hybrid Minivan:
A larger version of Estima is Sienna marketed in US and Europe by Toyota. Sienna hybrid will be the first hybrid minivan available in US market. The exact date for the launch is not specified by Toyota but it is most likely going to be introduced in 2007. 2007 Toyota Sienna Hybrid Minivan will have 2.4 liter, four-cylinder engine. The hybrid engine will be very likely similar to Highlander or Lexus Hybrid SUVs. The engine will deliver 270 hp of power and will come with an acceleration of 0-60 km/hour in 8 seconds.

A few other new hybrid cars waiting round the corners are 2006 Lexus GS, 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe, 2007 Dodge Durango and 2007 GMC Yukon. We would discuss these cars in detail on my future blog.

IRL Finally Draws a Crowd

The voices in the Box were calling the crowd at 70,000 for the St. Pete race. They may have been very close as the view from the TV also looked good.

WickerBill Sez;

Finally a crowd for an IRL race. Perhaps this will be a lesson learned for TG. Now it will be interesting to see how many show up for the Glen and Infineon.

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