Grand Prix to Roar Back to Cleveland on June 22 – 24, 2007
CLEVELAND, August 24, 2006 – The Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank celebrated its 25th anniversary on June 23 – 25, and what a celebration it was! During a gloriously sunny weekend jammed packed with big-name concerts, a festival of family activities, and A.J. Allmendinger taking the checkered flag in a thrilling Champ Car race, more than 118,000 fans streamed through the gates at Burke Lakefront Airport to signal a return to glory for the traditional Northeast Ohio event. Mi-Jack Promotions, the new promoter for the Grand Prix, announced today that the tradition will continue next summer when the Grand Prix returns to the shores of Lake Erie on June 22 – 24, 2007.
Mi-Jack Promotions and CEO Michael T. Lanigan became the new promoters for the Grand Prix in February of this year, and immediately provided much-needed financial security and a fresh approach to the much-loved but oft-troubled event. By introducing a number of fan improvements and a renewed focus on creating a family festival atmosphere, the new promoters enjoyed great success in their first year of ownership.
“We were very pleased with the results of this year’s Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank,” said Lanigan. “Our focus this year was, and will remain, the great fans of Northeast Ohio, and we believe that we accomplished our goal of providing them with a tremendous weekend experience that the entire family could enjoy. We still have a ways to go in order to bring this event to the level of prominence that we know it can have, but we are delighted with the smiles on the faces of the fans and all of the ‘thank yous’ that we have received from this year’s event.”
In addition to attendance, which increased more than 30% from 2005, the Grand Prix enjoyed growth in many other areas, including sponsorship revenue, hospitality, and vendor sales. The Grand Prix also conducted a post-event fan survey of ticket buyers, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Fans were especially impressed with some of the new fan amenities such as new jumbo television screens and free paddock access, as well as the reconfigured pit lanes, which afforded fans a tremendous view of the pit action. Input from many fans also indicated that the Grand Prix was successful in attracting new fans to the event through family attractions, interactive activities, and concerts featuring Paul Rodgers and Sammy Kershaw.
Despite the improvements realized at this year’s Grand Prix, race officials are not resting on their laurels. The Grand Prix is looking for ways to upgrade the fan experience even more, and officials are responding to input from the fan survey. At the 2007 Grand Prix, fans should expect new innovations and improvements in areas such as fan mobility, hospitality offerings, entertainment options, and fan seating.
Grand Prix officials are also looking for ways to build on the “festival of speed” theme. In addition to the high-speed thrills of world-class racing, fans will once again enjoy a wide variety of entertainment and activities including live music, extreme sports demonstrations, interactive rides, a Family Fun Zone, and much more. The Grand Prix is exploring entertainment options for 2007 including big-name concerts and alternative motorsports attractions.
The Grand Prix is also making several important organizational changes to allow the event to reach its goals for 2007 and beyond. In keeping with the festival and family-oriented theme of the new Grand Prix, General Manager Chuck Kosich has configured his staff to maximize that direction for the event. Maria Marzano has been named the new Assistant General Manager of the Grand Prix, and will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Grand Prix office under the supervision of Kosich. Several additional staff members have been added to bolster the Grand Prix staff.
Kosich and Lanigan hope that the 2006 Grand Prix of Cleveland will prove to be the beginning of a great renaissance for the event. The 2007 Grand Prix will be the second of a five-year commitment that Mi-Jack has signed with Champ Car, and Lanigan hopes to carry the torch for the Grand Prix for many years beyond that.
“We believe in Cleveland and we believe in the Grand Prix of Cleveland,” said Lanigan. “We are committed to continuing the traditions of the Grand Prix and growing this event into one of the finest motorsports event in the country.”
For more information on the Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank contact the event’s downtown business office at (216) 619-RACE (7223) or visit www.grandprixofcleveland.com.