GPA Redux

Ticket sales weren't so hot, after all

Miami Commissioner Johnny Winton doesn't even believe GPA bosses need to justify their impact on downtown Miami. Aside from the loan from the city's Sports & Exhibition Authority, Miami invested little in the GPA, he asserted. "I don't see any reasons to do a study," he said, also lauding GPA for pulling the event off despite interference from the ISC.

Until the last minute, ISC and its Miami law firm Steel, Hector, Davis did everything possible to stop the Grand Prix Americas on the simple premise that Miami-Dade County is only big enough for one auto-racing venue.

"It took resources away," Winton continued. "It took sponsors away. It could have sapped the energy from the event. I was surprised how well the race went off given the handicap from Homestead."

GPA masterminds Willy Bermello (left) and Peter Yanowitch when  it was good
GPA masterminds Willy Bermello (left) and Peter Yanowitch when it was good

And while it appears that ISC has called off the dogs, Curtis Gray, president of Homestead-Miami Speedway, couldn't help but gloat about the number of tickets GPA sold. "The results we've seen are pretty consistent with what we told Miami commissioners would happen," he cracked from his room at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, where he was attending NASCAR's annual awards banquet. "I'm not allowed to disclose attendance figures. But I can tell you that our truck series race on November 14, which is the smallest of the championship weekend, sold more tickets than the three races combined for the Grand Prix Americas."

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