Thursday, December 18, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Low ticket sales put IndyCar at Pocono in jeopardy

By
From page B8 | July 04, 2014 |

The future of IndyCar at Pocono Raceway is in jeopardy because of a dramatic attendance drop expected for Sunday’s race.

IndyCar returned to Pocono last year after a 24-year absence for the first race of a three-year contract. Track CEO and President Brandon Igdalsky said this week he planned to speak with IndyCar CEO Mark Miles and other series executives about possibly dumping the final year of the contract.

Igdalsky refused to divulge numbers, but said ticket sales “were kind of scary” compared with last year. While the track does not disclose attendance figures, about 30,000 to 35,000 fans were estimated at last year’s race.

Igdalsky said he brought the series back because track research showed fans wanted the racing and would support IndyCar. He will not guarantee IndyCar will race at Pocono in 2015.

“As of right now, I can’t say yes or no,” he said. “We can get out (of the contract). If we have to, we’ll do it. No sense in losing money, especially a significant amount of money.”

Pocono Raceway has had two NASCAR weekends on the schedule for decades. He blamed the fans — not a glut of racing in the mountains — for the possibility of IndyCar leaving the track.

“The big thing is the fans,” Igdalsky said. “The fans begged us to bring it back. Every study and report we did, they all said they’d come. But they’re not coming in the numbers we need them to come in. Are these fans really here? In Pennsylvania? In the Andrettis’ backyard? Why aren’t they coming out? Where are they?”

A number of factors could be involved, including an undesirable holiday weekend date. The IndyCar race is sandwiched between the June 8 and Aug. 3 Sprint Cup races. The race also added 100 miles this year, and is now a 500-miler.

Igdalsky said he came out of last year excited about the turnout and had great hope for mutual success with the series. Tickets start at just $25 for the grandstand and children are admitted at a reduced rate. There are a variety of ticket packages that include amenities such as a fan session with Mario Andretti.

“You’d think Mario Andretti could help you sell a bunch of tickets,” Igdalsky said.

Jay Frye, chief revenue officer for Hulman Motorsports, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This isn’t the first time Pocono and open-wheel racing have reached a crossroads. During the days of the dueling USAC and CART series in the late 1980s, Pocono racetrack founder Joseph Mattioli wanted out. Mattioli, who died in 2012, chose not to seek a new deal after 1989.

Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay said the series needs to race in the East.

“We’re in the right market,” he said. “We need to be putting on our races there. It was a major part of the schedule back in the day, and it seems to be that now it is again. Hopefully, the fans will receive us well there. If we keep on putting on great shows, there’s no reason it can’t work.”

NASCAR star Jeff Gordon attended last year’s IndyCar race and couldn’t help but notice the difference in attendance between the two series.

“I am very, very appreciative of this sport and this series that we are in because when you drive in that tunnel for an IndyCar race, and you drive in here for a NASCAR race, you get a perspective of how big our sport is,” he said.

Gordon also said how much he loved attending the race and how “very cool” the open wheel cars are.

Igdalsky, Mattioli’s grandson, said he would not use his NASCAR receipts to prop up IndyCar race losses. He said he was happy with attendance for the June NASCAR race and numbers are “looking great” for August’s NASCAR race.

But fans have balked at shelling out more money on IndyCar.

“They do a lot more talking than acting, for one,” Igdalsky said. “It’s kind of a shame if it does go away because of the fans. If IndyCar racing goes away from Pocono, it’s because the fans did not come out and support the event.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Solano College trustees move back ‘home’

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Needs of small dog give Solano man life’s mission

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
Christmas comes early for prenatal program participants

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Jury convicts teen for role in 2012 DeBartolo’s heist

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Police chief: Suisun crime up 3 percent in 2014

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Council OKs $65,730 pact to advocate for Travis base

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield pays $42,500 to settle soil suit

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Fairfield police log: Dec. 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: Dec. 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Fears fanned by hackers bring down Sony film

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Like Iran, secret diplomacy leads to US-Cuba thaw

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Pope played crucial role in US-Cuba rapprochement

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US travel industry carefully eyeing Cuba tourism

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

US-Cuba thaw could benefit farmers, energy and travel firms

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Cubans cheer historic renewal of US relations

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

Freed American endured years of declining health

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Bay Bridge light sculpture to keep on shining

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

Study: Huge wildfire supports need for controlled burns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
A fresh setback for efforts to cure HIV infection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

14 charged in deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Study: Alcatraz inmates could have survived escape

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Nigerian court sentences 54 soldiers to death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Colombian rebels announce unilateral cease-fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Russians flock to stores to pre-empt price rises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Pakistan buries victims of school massacre

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

.

Opinion

 
Crime Witness Protocol 101

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7, 8 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoons: Dec. 18, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 18, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 18, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
My siblings don’t want to replace abusive mother’s pacemaker

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

25 movies chosen for the National Film Registry

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Saving Private Ryan’ among films being preserved

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
.

Sports

For MLB, changes in Cuba will take time to sort out

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Falcons cruise by crushers in girls basketball

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

49ers release McDonald amid further legal trouble

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Carr faces another tough test in rookie season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Painkillers lawsuit against NFL dismissed; may be appealed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Garcia resigns as FIFA prosecutor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chattanooga women stun No. 7 Stanford 54-46

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Track coach Drummond gets 8-year doping suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Warriors’ Bogut out with knee injury vs. Thunder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP source: Romo close to $15M, 2-year deal with Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Baseball monitoring White House Cuba decision

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
APNewsBreak: Judge rejects NCAA concussions deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

Health care exchange sign-ups exceeding last year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Fed to be ‘patient’ about a rate hike; stocks soar

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

McDonald’s in Japan limits orders of fries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Amid scrutiny, Uber says it will focus more on safety

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jennie Ponce Reyes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Marian L. “Chicki” Downs

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9