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Oklahoma City Council rejects Grand Prix

Oklahoma City Council votes 6-2 against letter of intent with OKC Grand Prix LLC
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: August 31, 2010 at 5:28 pm •  Published: August 31, 2010

Grand Prix racing will not occur next year in Oklahoma City, and promoters say the odds are against reviving the effort following a 6-2 city council vote today against a proposed letter of intent with OKC Grand Prix LLC.

Mayor Mick Cornett and Councilwoman Meg Salyer cast the only "yes" votes for the letter of intent, which called on the city to front $6.9 million for the proposed July 4 races through downtown.

Council members Gary Marrs, Sam Bowman, Skip Kelly, Pete White, Larry McAtee and Pat Ryan all rejected the agreement, noting they couldn't spend $6.9 million on a race with a mixed track record elsewhere when potholes are going unrepaired and city departments are cutting their budgets by 12 percent.

Cornett told council members he had spent the past five years trying to bring a race to Oklahoma City, and said the risk was worth the investment. He noted the agreement would have called for the promoters to pay back the $6.9 million — but without a guarantee from Trent Ward, chief executive officer of OKC Grand Prix LLC, that the money would be paid back if the race were to fail.

Ward said after the council meeting he would regroup with his partners, but that there was a slim likelihood the effort would continue.

by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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