Long Beach expected to choose between IndyCar and Formula 1 in July
Long Beach City Council is expected to make a decision between continuing its long-standing agreement with IndyCar, or allowing Formula 1 to return to its city streets in 2019.
The California city has hired the services of consultancy firm KPMG to analyse the economic impact and viability of two proposals put forward during a tender process. They came from Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, which currently organises the IndyCar race in the city, and another from World Automobile Championship of California LLC, headed up by Chris Pook.
The latter wants to see F1 return for the first time since 1983 and has put forward a deal that won't cost the taxpayer anything, as it will be funded by sponsors and investors.
Pook is confident the economic impact of F1 will be recognised by KPMG's analysis and will sway city council members to vote for F1 over IndyCar.
"The gross economic impact [for IndyCar] was $30 million [during the latest study]," Pook told the Long Beach Business Journal.
"My $100 million [for F1] is based upon the [chamber of commerce] document, even though it’s dated July 2013. It’s four years old. I haven’t pushed this up with economic increase and what have you."
Pook added that this figure didn't include the promotional value gained from a worldwide television audience that would eclipse that of IndyCar: "The television value, the $192 million, comes out of this document. Those television viewers, 300 million, is from F1’s viewership numbers that they publish every year."
KPMG will deliver its recommendation on July 11 and it's expected city council members will then vote on the matter, with a final decision in late-July or early-August.