Oklahoma City Council Set to Vote on Grand Prix Proposal
Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Grand Prix race could be coming to downtown Oklahoma City by 2012, according to Oklahoma City's Mayor Mick Cornett.
The Mayor said these types of events allow the city to host a major sporting event without having to construct a venue and the race could take place in downtown right into the Bricktown area.
In Bricktown, corners like E.K. Gaylord and Sheridan Avenue could be the third curve for the major league Grand Prix race. That's if all the pieces come together.
"We had an engineer in two or three years ago that laid out a track for us," said Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. "I don't know if that'll be the ultimate track or not."
Mayor Cornett has been looking into the LeMans Series for five years and found Oklahoma City has a shot at landing the next sporting event.
"This is a brand new market for racing and I think it's under-tapped and I think the racing community will be well served," Cornett said.
For downtown merchants and Bricktown businesses, it serves as an economic boost for driving in high profit events.
"From a dollar and cent standpoint, somewhere from getting a Big 12 men's and women's basketball championship, but one of the keys is this is an event we can hold year after year after year," Cornett said.
This is just the starting line before a high profile race revs in the big bucks and there is plenty of planning to do behind the wheel.
"Not only lay out the track, but make sure that the road conditions meet their requirements, you've got grand stands, you've got hospitalities, you got a lot of sponsorship dollars to raise, you got a lot of coordination with other events," Oklahoma City Convention and Visitor Bureau President Michael Carrier.
"Not everyone is going to be convinced on day one that this is a good idea," said Cornett. "I've had a lot of time to think it through and it's going to take some time for some people to become comfortable with it."
The Mayor said he hopes to bring the race to Oklahoma City by 2012.