AVONDALE (May 5, 2014) – Today, Governor Bobby Jindal, INDYCAR and Laney Chouest, NOLA Motorsports Park owner, announced that INDYCAR is developing plans for a Verizon IndyCar Series race to be held at NOLA Motorsports Park in Jefferson Parish. The race will be known as the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana at Nola Motorsports Park and would be organized by Andretti Sports Marketing. The internationally televised event would be one of the races in the Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, which features the drivers and cars of the Indianapolis 500-mile race.
NOLA Motorsports Park estimates that the race and festival style event has the potential to attract 80,000 spectators over the course of the three-day event. Organizers estimate the event would produce more than $100 million in direct economic impact over at least three years. The state, upon approval by the Legislature, will commit a one-time amount of $4.5 million for NOLA Motorsports Park to be used for facility and track improvements. This investment, combined with the private investment that NOLA Motorsports Park will invest in the event, will create new jobs in Louisiana as well as support existing jobs at the NOLA Motorsports facility in Jefferson Parish.
Governor Jindal said, “This race is great news for Jefferson Parish and our entire state. This three-day event will allow us to show off the excitement of an IndyCar race right here in Louisiana, as well as our state’s culture, entertainment, and food. This event will be a great economic driver for our state and it will be a great weekend for the whole family.
“Verizon IndyCar Series events serve as the gathering point for automotive industry leaders and IndyCar sponsors, most of which are Fortune 500 companies. As a result, NOLA Motorsports Park expects racing related businesses and teams to locate to Louisiana once the race is scheduled, which will create more great jobs and economic momentum for Jefferson Parish and our state.”
The event would combine a three-day festival featuring Louisiana’s culture and the excitement of a Verizon IndyCar Series event. The race would ideally take place on a Sunday with practice sessions and time trials on the two days prior. The festival will include music, entertainment, and food.
“We’re delighted by this broad show of support and encouraged by the prospect of a Verizon IndyCar Series race in New Orleans,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “We greatly appreciate Laney Chouest, his associates at NOLA, and the state of Louisiana for their efforts to make enhancements to NOLA Motorsports Park. With these improvements we’re confident that NOLA can meet our standards for safety, fan experience and quality of racing. We look forward to continuing this dialogue in hopes of making New Orleans a destination that may soon host a Verizon IndyCar Series event.”
“I want to thank the Governor for his leadership in developing this public-private partnership that will leverage the significant private investment we made into this facility,” said Laney Chouest, owner of NOLA Motorsports Park. “We believe that the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana would serve as a regional demand generator for the already strong hospitality industry that our state is well known for Andretti Sports Marketing, a leading event operator, disclosed that it has been working on a potential event at NOLA Motorsports Park for two years, according to Michael Andretti, CEO.
“I’m really pleased to see INDYCAR preparing to bring a race to NOLA. New Orleans is a great market to grow the sport and I’m excited to have Andretti Sports Marketing involved with the operations and promotion of the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana.
Governor Jindal, Laney (Chouest) and the entire New Orleans community are fully behind the project and have been very positive and instrumental in launching this event,” added Andretti.
Senate President John Alario said, “Today is a great day for Jefferson Parish. This race will add another economic benefit to the Greater New Orleans area, just as we have benefited from the Zurich Classic, Super Bowls and Final Fours. This will add another reason for people to visit out great state.”
New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau President Stephen Perry said, “New Orleans has long been a world leader in sporting and special events, but securing an Indy Car race is a fantastic new victory not only for Nola Motorsports, but for the economy of our city and state. This type of event brings in millions of dollars to our state and this race will be a tremendous economic boost to our economy.”
“Ladies and gentlemen start your engines. We are excited to add an INDYCAR race to our already diverse array of events we host in Louisiana,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. “We attracted 27.3 million people last year and we are eager to welcome the estimated 80,000 INDYCAR fans to Jefferson Parish.”