The Long Beach City Council has proposed a three-year extension with the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach that will keep IndyCars racing there until 2018 but will open the the event for bidding. This satisfies both parties as the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, the current promoter, wanted an extension, while the F1 proposal was to be given the chance to bid. Chris Pook, who leads the F1 bid, says that Grand Prix racing will bring more value to the city, and it is easy to see why, if the city has nothing to pay.
The danger of the City’s proposal is that the F1 circus will not want to wait and will look for a venue elsewhere in southern California, which would potentially knock a big whole in the audience going to Long Beach. Pook, it should be remembered, organised an IMSA race in the Del Mar Fairgrounds, near San Diego, between 1987 and 1992, using the infrastructure from Long Beach. Right now there is no shortage of equipment available because of the failures of the Baltimore and Valencia street races, although it is cheaper to manufacture the concrete blocks require than to transport them.