IndyCar Race Headed for NOLA
- May 10, 2014
By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor
New Orleans will host a Verizon IndyCar Series race in 2015, IndyCar officials and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced, along with Laney Chouest, owner of NOLA Motorsport Park, the future venue of the popular event. Dubbed Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana, the internationally televised event will be organized by Andretti Sports Marketing and will be part of the IndyCar Verizon Series Championship, which features the drivers and cars of the famed Indianapolis 500 race.
Set to take place in Avondale, 14 miles from downtown New Orleans, the race would be part of a three-day festival-style event that will include practice sessions, time trials, music, food, entertainment and a showcasing of New Orleans and Louisiana culture and entertainment, leading up to a Sunday race. According to NOLA Motorsport Park estimates, the event can attract as many as 80,000 visitors over its three-day duration and have a direct economic impact north of $100 million over at least three years.
Pending state legislature approval, the state will provide a one-time contribution of $4.5 million for the motor park. The state contribution paired with a yet-to-be-disclosed private investment from the motor park will be used for facility and track improvements, although according to The Boston Herald, the venue is capable of handling an IndyCar race as is. Among the proposed changes at the 2.75-mile road course are a new pit entrance, a wider and longer pit lane, straightaway enhancements and perimeter fencing.
Designed by Alan Wilson, the $60 million NOLA Motorsport Park opened in 2011. The 750-acre venue is located south of the TPC Louisiana Golf Course in Avondale, Jefferson Parish.
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Image courtesy of NOLA Motorsport Park via Facebook.