IndyCar Boston Grand Prix Cancelled After “Hysterical” Mess

Meltdown leaves Beantown without a race and everyone pointing fingers. 

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Last summer, IndyCar announced that it’d be heading to Beantown for Labor Day Weekend, 2016. The circuit looked like wicked fun, 11 turns spread over 2.25 miles, all running through the streets of the Seaport District around the Convention Center. Pumped? Well, it ain’t gonna happen: The inaugural Boston Grand Prix has been canceled.

Right now, it’s not entirely clear what happened. Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar’s parent company, says he got the news from John Casey, the erstwhile Boston Grand Prix president, on Friday evening. Miles says the cancellation came as a surprise, and that he had no advance notice. Casey had this to say:

“The relationship between us and the city is not working. The relationship is untenable ... I’m writing a book about this whole process. It’s so ridiculous, it’s hysterical.”

He’s working to find a replacement venue, adding that two other cities are interested in hosting and “willing to do it without the headaches of Boston.”

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IndyCar promoters and Boston city officials (artist's rendering)

City officials, meanwhile, are of course blaming IndyCar. In a statement, Patrick Brophy, chief of operations for the city, claims race organizers were disorganized and “unwilling or unable to meet the necessary requirements to hold an event of this size.” Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker claims that race promoters requested extensions for “key deadlines,” then missed them.

Local papers are reporting that some convoluted issue involving FEMA and wetlands permits is to blame.

Le sigh.

So who screwed up here? Does it really matter? The city is out on a truckload of tourism revenue (again), IndyCar now has a gaping hole in its calendar, and we don’t get to spend Labor Day watching Scott Dixon do neat stuff through the streets of Boston. No silver lining here, guys. Just too greed, politics, and idiocy.