Champ Car cancels Phoenix

Posted by Iannucci | 8/29/2007 | 7 comments »
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I haven't seen a single billboard. I haven't heard a single news report other than the coverage of the sound testing a few months ago. I even saw light rail tracks being installed on part of the circuit last month.

So it comes as no surprise that my fellow Phoenicians decided they wanted no part of this.

On Tuesday, organizers announced that they would cancel the three-day Champ Car race event set for downtown Phoenix this fall. An estimated 1,000 ticket holders would get full refunds, they said. The race could be staged next year, they said.

Grand Prix Arizona was billed as a mega-event that would bring high-adrenaline car racing downtown for the next five years with a projected $65 million in annual economic impact. The two-mile track would have snaked around Chase Field, US Airways Center, Phoenix Convention Center and other landmarks.

"The sponsorship levels didn't even come close to what we needed to be able to pull this off the way that we wanted to," said Phoenix businessman Dale Jensen. Jensen, part owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Suns, teamed up with business partner Brad Yonover to orchestrate the event. (MORE from
"An estimated 1000" means what, 34 people bought tickets? You gotta sell those folks a lot of beers to make $65 million. Good gracious, that series is a mess.

You know I've said it before: there's no need to merge with a dying product. For all of it's faults (many of which we saw this weekend) the IRL is still light years ahead of the post-CART remains.

Now is the time. Come on back to Phoenix, Tony. Big hugs all around.


  1. pressdog // August 29, 2007 11:15 AM  

    Jeff has Champ Car fever. He's stung by this, and covering the pain with this facade of scorn. It's OK to grieve, buddy.

  2. mmack // August 29, 2007 12:29 PM  

    My Name\Jeff,

    Stop by today. The Fanatics are in full frothing-at-the-mouth hysteria about the Phoenix race cancellation. My favorite argument is that this is all the work of Brian France and Bernie Ecclestone, who "strongarmed" the potential sponsors of this race because they were afraid of the potential of CART\OWRS\CCWS\Honestly, we'll be here in 2008, just stay with us!

    I'm REALLY betting Brian and Bernie were quaking in their boots over this one.

    So that's 3 races cancelled/fell through this year, is it? Tell me, what company is going to pony up cash to sponsor a car in a series that can't follow through on the races it schedules?

    Give SeaBass the trophy and put the series out of its misery already.

  3. pressdog // August 29, 2007 1:09 PM  

    This is sooooooo obviously all Tony's doing. I bet Tony offered to come back to Phoenix in 08 IF they put the ki-bosh on this CC race in 07. It's a secret CABAL, I tell ya.

  4. john c // August 29, 2007 4:26 PM  


    I clicked over to the boards in ... It's the first time I've been there ... Um, they don't like the IRL over there, no at all, no sir!

    Sheeshe, I felt like the token liberal in a Southern Baptist Neo-Con Convention. ;)

  5. mmack // August 30, 2007 7:43 AM  

    John C,

    Those would be the "very LOUD fans . . . who slander the other series with various epithets" that My Name wrote about back in 2006.

    Make sure to bathe in bleach after visiting the site, and DON'T DRINK THE KOOL-AID!

  6. Joel // August 30, 2007 6:01 PM  

    Jeff, I forgot to ask earlier, were you planning on going to the race since you live around there?

  7. Jeff Iannucci // August 31, 2007 9:51 AM  

    I hadn't decided and was taking a wait and see approach until race weekend. P1 wanted to meet Katherine Legge, but otherwise I could have gone either way on this.

    But now like the old Jesse Jackson skit on SNL, "The Question is MOOT!"