Nov 27, 2009

It's official: F1 is back in Montreal

As already noted here, the governments of Canada and Québec, Montréal and Tourisme Montréal have made the official announcement of the return of the Canadian Grand Prix to Montreal.

The cost is $75 million over five years, with the Government of Canada and Tourisme Montréal will each contribute $5 million of this amount. The Government of Québec will provide $4 million and the city of Montréal will add $1 million.

Montréal and its partners will in return receive 30 per cent shares from ticket sales.

The race is a huge tourist attraction with 25 per cent of the usual 300,000 spectators coming from outside Québec. The race brings about $90 million in economic activity each year, including 75,000 overnight hotel stays.

"The return of the Formula One to Montréal attests to our sustained efforts and determination," said Montréal Mayor Gérald Tremblay.

"This win-win deal falls in line with the terms we set and the taxpayer’s ability to pay and will create stability for the next five years. I am very pleased that our metropolis is bringing back this crucial stage in the Formula One series for fans from around the world and an outstanding opportunity in terms of the event’s international reach."

The deal is substantially less than F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone demanded to save the race last year, with his final offer being a five-year deal for $175-million.

One more thing: It's nice to be right!

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