On July 7, 2016, “The Boston Globe” reported that INDYCAR will provide $925,000 to help the Boston customers receive their expected refunds. The inaugural INDYCAR race was scheduled for Labor Day weekend, September 5, 2016. The race was expected to run on a 2.2-mile temporary road located around the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. It has been implied the race was scrapped in April 2016, leaving the 4,000 customers curious as to when they would receive their refunds.
After INDYCAR announced their contribution to pay back ticket holders, Attorney General Maura Healey filed a suit against Boston Grand Prix LLC and its company’s manager John Casey. Boston Grand Prix and Casey were the parties who proposed the race in the first place. The main argument raised by Attorney General Healey is the fact Boston Grand Prix and Casey were fully aware they did not have the necessary permits or resources to complete the proposed project.
According to WCVB, on June 29, 2016, the word bankruptcy was being tossed around related to Boston Grand Prix owing customers nearly $1.7 million. WCVB 5 “Investigates” received a copy of a letter from Boston Grand Prix lawyer Michael Goldberg, asking consultants, vendors, and investors to help create a fund to pay back ticket holders. At this point, about $400,000 had already been refunded to customers. The remaining customers are now expected to receive their refunds.
Goldberg also stated the failure of the project was the result of the city placing never-ending obstacles in front of the project. This resulted in INDYCAR canceling the race, not Casey. It has been suggested it was this initial comment from Goldberg, which resulted in Healey filing the lawsuit on behalf of the customers. The lawsuit focused on the fact Boston Grand Prix and Casey continued to sell tickets even after they knew they did not receive the necessary permits to move forward with the project.
WWLP explained, the Boston INDYCAR race faced public opposition, which resulted in an interruption of funding from prominent local leaders. It was also determined, Healey imposed a deadline of June 27, 2016, on Boston Grand Prix to disclose how they intended to pay back the ticket holders and investors. She pledged to make sure everyone received a full refund since there were written guarantees on all of the tickets. Casey was clear to state he felt all parties involved would be able to come to an agreement.
Now that the money is available to return to ticket holders, it is up to the Attorney General’s office to determine which customers have received their refunds and those Boston Grand Prix customers who are still waiting for their expected refunds. Additionally, Healey’s office will have to determine how the remaining ticket holders will receive their refunds. INDYCAR paid more than half of the money that was owed to ticket holders, so the only remaining responsibility of Boston Grand Prix and Casey is to obtain the necessary funding to provide the rest of the refunds.
Goldberg made it clear, Boston Grand Prix was looking for help from all of the involved parties and was successful collecting the funds. The ticket holders were not the only entities who were without their money. The vendors and investors were also at a loss since they expected to receive gains from the Boston INDYCAR race, which has resulted in those people also awaiting refunds.
By Kristina Lasher
Edited by Jeanette Smith
Boston Globe: IndyCar will help pay back tickets for scrapped race
WCVB: 5 Investigates: Boston Grand Prix may have to file for bankruptcy
WWLP: Boston Indy car race to pay back customers
Image Courtesy of Nicholas Erwin’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License