Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Economic spin indeed

I recently wrote about how I found it misleading for news stories about the 2009 Rexall Edmonton Indy to not mention the projected deficit for this year's race. It was nice, however, to see the mention of last year's (taxpayer covered) $5.3-million deficit. Now I've just got an issue with the race organizer, Northlands.

After last year's deficit became known, and Edmonton taxpayers were reminded they were on the hook, Northlands talked about the economic spin-off of the race. They claimed the race put $80-million dollars into the Edmonton economy.

Those numbers were quickly questioned. The problem (or the good thing for Northands) is that it's hard to nail down (dispute) a spin-off number because you're guessing at how much people paid for a hotel (if they used one) a rental car (or taxis, transit), shopping and meals. It should be noted, however, Montreal race organizers only claimed a $75-million dollar benefit from their race.

Soon after my rant I wonder if Northlands even cares about running in the red. There's a projected deficit of more than $1-million for this summer's race and instead of trying to cut costs they're paying to put Alex Tagliani in the driver's seat.

It seems to me that if a driver can't find anybody to back him financially he may not be the draw that's going to help you turn a profit, or break even.

You may have to spend money to make money, but it will be interesting to see if spending money where nobody else cared to will help the 2009 Rexall Edmonton Indy, make money.

Or maybe the idea is for Edmonton taxpayers to buy a ticket and cheer on Tagliani. After all, their tax rate depends on it.

No comments: