Formula One to NJ, I like that.
I remember when they had it at the Meadowlands................
Is Formula One racing coming to Weehawken and West New York? Talks have started to make it happen
Published: Tuesday, August 02, 2011, 4:35 PM Updated: Tuesday, August 02, 2011, 10:18 PM
View full sizeAP photoFerrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain drives his race car during the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix outside Budapest, Hungary, July 31, 2011. Will Formula One racing come to North Hudson? The mayors of Weehawken and West New York have entered into discussions with a group of investors about the possibility of Formula One racing in the North Hudson communities as early as 2013.
Both Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner and West New York Mayor Dr. Felix Roque confirmed today that they had met with the motor racing investors, headed by former cable network TV head Leo Hindery Jr., about the possibility of hosting an annual Formula One race.
The race is expected to make use of Boulevard East and River Road on the waterfront with a TV view of Manhattan in the background.
The two mayors were at lunch in Trenton when The Jersey Journal reached them by phone today and Roque was surprised by the call.
"You're good, we just finished talking to them two hours ago," he said of the Formula One promoters.
Turner said an agreement could mean millions of dollars for both municipalities but that they are still early in talks.
"We want to make sure this will also be enjoyable for the residents and we have more negotiations to complete," Turner said.
Both mayors said that besides the monetary remuneration for the two North Hudson communities, the economic benefits for the area would be big -- also in the millions of dollars.
According to a Formula One website, Hindery has a history with motorsports as a driver and executive. He is the founding chairman and former CEO of The YES Network, the sports cable TV home of the New York Yankees, Rangers, NBA Nets and others. Hindery is now a managing partner of InterMedia Partners, LP, a Manhattan-headquartered media industry private equity fund.
Roque and Turner said their press statement is not expected to be released until tomorrow, but it is already on the Internet. It states:
"It is already clear that the economic impact on our towns and local businesses from this Formula One race could be dramatic, in the order of several hundred million dollars to the region annually. In these uncertain economic times when every direct and indirect revenue source is vital, our own Formula One race could be a very positive boost to our citizens. This said, we need to ensure that the financial benefits from the privilege of having these races in our towns are equitably shared and that no tax dollars are used.
"The investor group has already told us that our towns would be substantially compensated annually. If this advances, we will make every effort to ensure that these events will be highly enjoyable for the people of our towns."
A spokesman for Hindery would only say "talks have just started" and would not comment further but the Formula One-F1 website published a press release statement by Hindery in which he said:
"We are thrilled about the possibilities associated with our discussions to bring Formula One racing to New Jersey, and we're grateful for the mayors' consideration. We are fully committed to an open public process, which will include dialogue with residents, elected officials and other key stakeholders."
Formula One racing is globally popular and the highly specialized vehicles race on tracks and often public roads.
In May 2010, there was an attempt to bring Formula One racing to Liberty State Park in Jersey City but Mayor Jerramiah Healy dismissed it after opposition to an annual grand prix race by Friends of Liberty State Park.