MONTREAL - After months of rumours, it’s finally official. The Canadian Grand Prix will return to Montreal on June 13, 2010 under a new five-year deal between the various levels of government and the racing circuit, led by Bernie Ecclestone.
Under the terms of the deal, the governments of Canada, Quebec, Montreal and Tourisme Montreal will invest $15 million per year to secure the race on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
The race would be held on Île Notre Dame starting in 2010 and at least through 2014.
The federal government and Tourisme Montréal will each contribute $5 million of this amount. The Government of Québec will provide $4 million and Montréal will add $1 million. Montréal and its partners will in return receive 30 per cent of the revenue from ticket sales.
"The return of the Formula One to Montréal attests to our sustained efforts and determination. 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," Montréal Mayor Gérald Tremblay said in a statement.
"For Québec, this event by itself results in annual tax revenues of more than $10 million, for a $4 million investment, minus revenues from ticket sales. All three levels of government have worked together tirelessly over the past few months to bring the Grand Prix back to Montréal, while acting in a financially responsible manner. With this agreement in hand, I am delighted that our efforts have finally succeeded," said Québec Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Montréal Region Raymond Bachand.
"In view of the substantial trickle-down effects that the F1 will generate for members of our association, Tourisme Montréal is pleased to assist in the return of Canada’s biggest tourism event. International coverage of the Grand Prix also puts Montréal in the spotlight and promotes our city as a tourist destination," said Charles Lapointe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tourisme Montréal.
The announcement was made official at a news conference held Friday afternoon.
The 2009 edition of the race was cancelled over a contractual dispute between FIA boss Ecclestone and former Canadian GP promoter Normand Legault.
The $75-million price tag means the right to stage the Grand Prix has dropped dramatically, from the $175 million Ecclestone was holding out for last year.
More details to come.
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