US motor racing series IndyCar has confirmed that it will contribute $925,000 (€839,000) to cover some of the money lost by fans who had pre-purchased tickets for its Boston Grand Prix, which was scheduled to take place in September before being cancelled earlier this year.
The race was due to be held on September 4, the first event under a new five-year deal that IndyCar agreed with the Massachusetts city in May 2015.
However, IndyCar was forced to cancel the race in April after local organisers announced that they were no longer in a position to stage the event. Grand Prix of Boston president John Casey told the Boston Globe newspaper at the time that the event’s relationship with city officials had become “untenable”.
Around 4,000 people had bought advanced tickets for the Boston event, and the $925,000 sum provided by IndyCar represents less than half of the $2.1m that was spent, according to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
The Associated Press news agency reported that Boston Grand Prix LLC, the company behind the race, had refunded around $400,000 in ticket purchases before filing for bankruptcy earlier this week.
“I appreciate IndyCar’s willingness to step up for their fans and help resolve this problem,” Healey said. “They've gone above and beyond to be a productive part of this solution, and their fans will reap the benefits.”
Mark Miles, chief executive of Hulman & Co., IndyCar’s parent company, added: “We enjoy some of the most loyal and devoted fans in all of sports, and so we are pleased to work with the Attorney General and contribute in her efforts to protect ticket buyers.
“We want our fans to know that we share their disappointment that the race won't take place. And we also want to join them in expressing our appreciation for Attorney General Healey's work on their behalf.”
Healey said she has filed a lawsuit against Boston Grand Prix and Casey, seeking full refunds for all ticket buyers. “Boston Grand Prix and (Casey) knew full well when they marketed and sold this event that they didn’t have the resources or permits to make it happen,” Healey said. “They failed to protect consumers, and we will do all we can to hold them accountable.”
IndyCar moved quickly to replace Boston by confirming in May that the Watkins Glen International circuit in upstate New York would stage an event from September 1-4.