A lot of people are questioning this decision by IndyCar thinking maybe N.O. isn't ready for this, the infrastructure
isn't there, or parking is missing etc. But this is THE one place that Mike and I can serve as experts as we are both from New Orleans and visit often, we're experts here.
So what can we tell you?
- The track is literally next door to the TPC of N.O. golf course that
holds a PGA event every year; If needed I could see them sharing parking
with shuttles to transport people back and forth if needed (likely
won't be needed, but its an easy plan b).
- The track is also 100% flat, as is all of N.O. but it is a very nice track, all
it needs is grandstands... the flatness however may actually be the
reason they are asking for June. March tendas to be quite rainy/cold
(don't think temperature, think 40mph winds) but if they got a week of
rain the track could get completely flooded.
That being said I wish they'd get March/April race and just try that
date out, I don't think conflicting with Mardi Gras seaosn is really an
issue so long as they stay off the big weekend preceeding Mardi Gras.
- They definitely don't want to do anything July-October, #1 July-Aug insane heat, Aug-October is tempting the hurricane gods.
- For folks not from N.O. the city is a half century long veteran of
temporary grandstands, concession stands and porta potties for Mardi
Gras, thats no issue
many think Mardi Gras = Bourbon street, but actually parades take place
over the course of a month almost every night in about 20 different
parts of the metro area.
- The Kart track next to North course is awesome; imagine what they could do
for kids using that during race weekend, its what many tarcks are
missing, let the kids try their hands at racing and get them hooke
- As far as people saying there's no market/they can't support it...
between N.O. and Baton Rouge there are multiple drag strips that hold
regular events, 2 club race tracks (plenty race culture), one of the
biggest car shows in the country held at SuperDome, multiple kart
tracks: the city supports many large events (Mardi Gras, month long
party with 50+ parades/bals), NFL team, NBA team, Triple A baseball
team, power boat racing, PGA tour event, Final Fours, Super Bowls, sugar
Bowl, the city is essentially built to hold annual big events.
- Speaking to that point again, N.O. is a lot like Baltimore/Barber in
terms of how this race will be received. N.O. has a "we want nice
things" attitude; they will embrace the event because they want to be
seen on TV, they want to be a destination, the city is known for thowing
big events, some of the biggest conferences ever, there won't be issues
getting it embraced as an event. Especially one they can tailgate at.