Full Speed Ahead for the Grand Prix of Cleveland City of Cleveland and Grand Prix reach new five-year agreement to hold the event at Burke; 2008 Grand Prix scheduled for June 20-22
CLEVELAND, Nov. 7, 2007 – For twenty-six consecutive years, the shores of Lake Erie have come alive each summer when the Grand Prix of Cleveland roars into town for the annual celebration of speed at Burke Lakefront Airport. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Grand Prix officials announced today that this tradition will continue, thanks to a new five-year agreement between the City and the Grand Prix to hold the event at Burke through 2012. Organizers also announced that the 2008 event, the first under the new agreement, will take place June 20 – 22.
“The Grand Prix is a significant annual event for the City of Cleveland. It is a popular attraction that puts Cleveland on the world stage and delivers an annual economic impact of some $30 million,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson.
"The Grand Prix of Cleveland is one of the City's unique assets," said Council President Martin J. Sweeney. "We are pleased to have a healthy partnership with the Grand Prix and look forward to many races to come."
The Grand Prix entered an exciting new era prior to the 2006 event, when Mi-Jack Promotions and chairman Michael T. Lanigan were announced as the new promoters of the event. With financial security and a fresh approach under new ownership, the Grand Prix has experienced a revitalization with renewed fan support, increased corporate sponsorships, and a number of new fan-friendly attractions. In 2007, attendance increased 31% to 151,426 fans, signaling a return to glory for the Grand Prix. Grand Prix officials are optimistic that the future looks even brighter.
“We are very proud to be carrying on the great traditions of the Grand Prix of Cleveland,” said Michael T. Lanigan. “Our primary focus has been the great fans of Northeast Ohio, and we believe that we have accomplished our goal of providing them with a tremendous weekend experience that the entire family could enjoy. We are also appreciative of the tremendous support from the Northeast Ohio community, including our corporate sponsors, the fans, Cuyahoga County, and Mayor Jackson and the City of Cleveland.”
When the event returns next June for the 27th annual Grand Prix of Cleveland, the festivities will once again be headlined by the Champ Car World Series, North America’s premier open-wheel racing series. Since Bobby Rahal won the inaugural race as a rookie in 1982, some of the greatest names in auto racing have taken the checkered flag on the famous course at Burke Lakefront Airport on the shores of Lake Erie, including Al Unser, Jr., Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, and current stars Paul Tracy and Sebastien Bourdais. The event's rich history has established the famed Burke Lakefront Airport track as one of the best and most storied circuits in the Champ Car World Series.
"The Grand Prix of Cleveland is one of the cornerstone events of the Champ Car World Series, and we are very pleased to be returning to Burke Lakefront Airport for the 27th consecutive year," said Champ Car CEO and President Steve Johnson. "We thank Mayor Jackson for his leadership and vision, and look forward to working closely with Mike Lanigan and his team in conducting another crowd-pleasing event in Cleveland next year."
The Grand Prix of Cleveland will also feature a number of top support series to allow fans to see some of the sport’s up-and-coming stars compete throughout the race weekend. Included in the weekend schedule will be the Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear, and the SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio MX-5 Cup.
In addition to world-class racing, the 2008 Grand Prix of Cleveland will feature a myriad of activities to create a “three-day festival of speed” for fans of all ages. Popular returning attractions will include live music, the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Family Fun Zone, extreme sports demonstrations, go-kart racing, and the Miss Grand Prix of Cleveland contest.
Fans will have a chance to get in on the action on February 4, when tickets for the 2008 Grand Prix of Cleveland go on sale to the general public. Ticket prices for most seats remain the same, with reserved seats at $35 and grounds admission tickets available for $10.
When tickets go on sale February 4, fans can purchase seats online at Ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster Retail Location including all Macy’s and select Giant Eagles, or charge-by-phone at 216-241-5555. For a more information including a complete list of ticket offerings, fans should visit www.grandprixofcleveland.com. Corporate sponsorship, hospitality or group sales are available by calling the Grand Prix of Cleveland office at 216-619-RACE (7223) or toll-free 888-817-RACE.