Promoter Francois Dumontier already exists. He finds himself in an unlivable situation. There was no Canadian Grand Prix in 2020, and fans who had already paid for their seats in boxes and stands were mostly patient. But sooner or later they will request a refund.
Everything indicates that we are heading towards an exciting Monday as governments have to file a response to Liberty Media, the company that bought Formula 1 from Bernie Ecclestone.
Dramatic Monday tomorrow.
We know that the three levels of government, Ottawa, Quebec and Montreal, share a $ 18.5 million bill to retain the rights to present the F1 Grand Prix in Montreal. That $ 18.5 million could be justified by service taxes, consumption taxes, and taxes on the pay and income of companies that take advantage of the Grand Prix to enrich themselves.
Tax funds, direct or indirect, are used to pay for nurses, teachers, and some doctors. In other words, it is as much an investment as a relief in disguise.
I support this type of partnership between the private and the public.
And Moulson? And Mario Cesceni?
François Dumontier has always said that he was not financially able to organize the Grand Prix behind closed doors. He is right, and it is an understandable position. How do you pay staff and all installation costs without selling tickets and consumables? My colleague Lewis Butcher wrote it again this week.
In other words, someone would have to pay those few millions. So Liberty Media took the lead and asked governments to add 6 million to the 18.5 million that had already been invested just to retain the rights to run the race.
Incidentally, Liberty Media didn’t have to take these steps because the three governments respect their agreement with F1. Liberty did this to give its promoter a helping hand and help him out of the swamp. No doubt Octane, François Dumontier, should have a revenue sharing agreement in the special agreement between the promoter and F1.
This is Journalism Which revealed the required amount.
Governments find themselves in an unbearable position. If we paid 6 million to François Dumontier, what would we give Jeff Molson to compensate for the loss of tickets and beer at the Bell Center?
And what are we going to give Eugene Lapier the Rogers Cup? How about Mario Siskini for the empty Alouettes bleach? Not to mention Joey Saputo and the previous influence.
Will we have to shovel more into the Quebec Junior Hockey League lockers?
Protect large assets
These are the questions that ministers and heads of municipal organizations must reconsider in their heads to this day.
The instinctive answer is easy. Start. These billionaires have received enough gifts.
But the instinctive and easy response is rarely a deliberate response.
The Canadian Grand Prix is a wonderful property of Montreal. This is what remains prominent on the international stage of Montreal, the capital.
It is the indication of the tourist season. It is the most important event in Canada. Which attracts the most number of visitors and generates the largest economic benefits. Except for these last two versions.
Politicians have fought hard to save it over the past decades. It is no coincidence that cycling mayor Valerie Blunt is defending the Grand Prix motorsport with big energy. It’s the capital of Montreal, whatever the pedal poets might say.
Governments, by paying the rights stipulated in the contract for a period of 10 years, that is, 18.5 million, have fulfilled their obligation. They preferred driving over breaking the contract.
Liberty Media’s responsibility is now to bring the big circus to El Notre Dame. The third party in the contract, François Dumontier, the promoter, is supposed to organize the race.
But how do you organize a race when the cars are in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Sunday? On Monday, planes will take the cars to Montreal, and pilots, mechanics and engineers will arrive no later than Tuesday.
Worst, what is happening? If Eric Stahl had been quarantined for seven days at a hotel like Cole Coffield in Laval, it was because of a long-term negotiating agreement between the Canadian teams, the National League and the federal government. Otherwise, the legal quarantine is 14 days. Where is the agreement between Liberty Media and the federal government?
We will meet again in 2022
Everything indicates that the Canadian Grand Prix will not be offered. Unless we manage to find a fall weekend. But with 23 races on the calendar, it gets even more difficult.
The good news is that governments have invested money to provide the necessities. The contract between Parc Jean-Drapeau and Liberty Media and the fact that we can finally celebrate Formula 1’s return to Montreal.
Moreover, it became clear that François Dumontier, like many entrepreneurs hard hit by the pandemic, might need help from various governments. ECP isn’t just invented for scammers.
There are many federal and provincial programs that can be used.
And if governments decide to keep diving despite restrictions on organizing a major TV show and paying 6 million, we at least make sure that RDS will detect its airwaves.
People will have paid dearly and will be deserving of seeing their race.