Site Requires Flash Player and JavaScript (on) for optimal viewing.

bypass the detection
Motorsports

Roadblocks remain for IRL

    After he worked in operations for NHL teams Edmonton and Carolina, and before he took the job as president of the Portland Winter Hawks last fall, Doug Piper inquired about bringing an Indy Racing League event to Portland International Raceway.

    “We found the IRL people to be really professional, on top of it and really interested in Portland,” says Piper, who worked in conjunction with former Blazers executive Marshall Glickman on the IRL idea. “We felt the challenge was beyond us; in order for an IRL event to be truly successful, there has to be a certain component of corporate support. And it would have been difficult to create an environment that the corporate market would support, unless major work was done at PIR.

    “(Track manager) Mark Wigginton has done a fantastic job making it work financially. We talked with the City Council about the chance of (PIR) renovation …” and there was none, Piper concluded.

    Not that it’s a news flash, but the 17-race IRL season kicks off April 5 with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Fla.) –and without Portland on the schedule.

    It has been two years since the defunct CART/Champ Car World Series’ 29-year run at PIR ended. And, given the big road block – lack of corporate sponsorship – that has flummoxed local promoters for a decade, it’s hard for people to be optimistic about a possible return of the roaring open-wheelers. Especially in this economy.

    The IRL has said it would like to race in Portland, even without major PIR improvements. Portland promoter Mike Nealy, whose Global Events Group ran the former CART/Champ Car race for many years, and Drew Mahalic, chief executive officer of the Oregon Sports Authority, met with IRL franchise development representatives last year, and the two sides still keep in touch. “It’s one of those pursuits where it’ll take a lot of work,” Mahalic says. “But we haven’t given up.”

    — Excerpt from The Portland Tribune, March 26, 2009


    video




    Watch our two minute video to learn more about the Oregon Sports Authority's efforts to promote the state as a premier sports destination.

    NEWSLETTER SIGN UPs

    Sign up to receive a monthly update with the latest Oregon sports news and event information, plus get exclusive access to ticket discounts!

    MEMBERS

    Members

    Requires Flash Player and JavaScript (on) for optimal viewing.

    .

    latest news


    eUpdate – PK80, IndyCar Coming to Portland, Congrats to the Thorns, Cirque du Soleil Crystal

    In the summer of 2012, Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis began to form plans for an unprecedented 16-team men’s...

    http://www.oregonsports.org/eupdate-pk80-nears-tip-off-indycar-coming-to-portland-congrats-to-the-thorns-cirque-du-soleil-crystal/

    eUpdate – Oregon Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Disaster Relief, Street Soccer USA and New Members

    The Oregon Sports Hall of Fame will induct a class of six new members during its annual induction ceremony on...

    http://www.oregonsports.org/eupdate-oregon-sports-hall-of-fame-induction-ceremony-disaster-relief-street-soccer-usa-and-new-members/

    eUpdate – Little League Softball, WinCo Foods Portland Open, Cambia Portland Classic

    Little League softball teams from the U.S., Canada, the Philippines, Czech Republic and Puerto Rico are in Portland this week...

    http://www.oregonsports.org/eupdate-little-league-softball-world-series-winco-foods-portland-open-cambia-portland-classic/

    find out what's new and

    what's next in oregon sports!

    follow the oregon sports authority on

    Twitter      Facebook