The track hosted seven grands prix between 1976 and 1983 before the event switched to CART and later the IndyCar series. It was confirmed earlier in the month that Bernie Ecclestone had approached the city stating Formula 1’s interest in acquiring the lease to the race.
Following the success of the United States Grand Prix at the purpose-built Circuit of the Americas in Texas and with the proposed race around the streets of New Jersey now twice postponed, other options in North America are being considered.
“We just want the opportunity to state our case, to be considered,” Pook explained to the Orange County Register. “We just want them to take a look at what we bring to the table. That’s all we’re asking.”
In order for the sport to return to Long Beach, upgrades costing close to $10m would be needed to bring the circuit in line with modern F1 requirements. “People have been saying it would cost $100 million,” he said. “That number has just stuck in people’s minds. It’s not even close to that.
“The net tax gain for Austin in 2013 was $4.9 million, and the net gain for Texas was $17.2 million. The value of F1 is that it provides new money. F1 racing draws a worldwide audience. You would be tapping into new consumers.”
He added: “F1 wants to be in Southern California by 2016. I’m conflicted, because I want to see it here. It’s where we started and it’s a big piece of history.”
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons