Saturday, February 23, 2008


Nothing is official yet about the Grand Prix of Toronto getting the boot for this season, as the Toronto officials claim they are still working on it.

But it kind of serves the people of Toronto right if this event goes belly-up for this season. For one thing, the fans were starting to bellyache about how second-rate ChampCar was anyway, and they were saying they should just dump the open-wheel cars and make it a NASCAR event. Heck, NASCAR is good enough for Montreal, and for Patrick Carpentier, and Jacques Villeneuve (even though Villeneuve lost his ride recently.)! Why bother with open-wheel when the stock cars are available?! That's the attitude from these fans in Toronto. They are such bandwagon-jumpers, whether it comes to auto racing, the Blue Jays, football, you name it. Just wait, the same thing will happen to Toronto FC eventually.

I didn't know this before, but I think these guys in Toronto didn't even have a title sponsor for this year, because Steelback Brewery went belly-up. Of course, Molson pulled out the year before. So I think that is a possible factor whether anyone wants to admit it or not.

Of course, the people who've run the open-wheel sport into the ground the past several years deserve a heap of blame for what is going on. Way to go to alienate race fans in Canada, guys. And what happens if folks at NASCAR decide to try and take advantage of this golden opportunity and decide to move right in to Toronto instead? It could happen.

Anyway, the boohooing is on in Toronto:
Toronto tourism takes $50M hit with loss of race
Big mistake to skip Toronto in 2008 race sked -
Race fans sideswiped by circuit sideshow - Garth Woolsey, the Star.
Mats Sundin wants to stay in Toronto - George Gross in the Sun, keeping it real with a story on what Toronto fans REALLY care about, the freaking Leafs.
Toronto Indy up in smoke - the AP story that ran in the Sun.

One tourism official was quoted in the Star as saying the Indy is "one of the major events we have, along with things like the film festival, Caribana and Pride Day." Well, that is the problem with Toronto right there. Too many events for the, ahem, non-redneck segment of the population, and not enough for connoisseurs of redneck entertainment. Such as race fans. Believe me, this was the type of crowd that went to the Grand Prix, all these guys from the 905. This was a downmarket audience that drank a lot of beer and did a lot of girl-watching, checking out the Miss Molson Indy contestants. That's exactly what this event was about. No wonder the IRL decided to stay in Alberta instead - this sport fits right in over there.

What good is it to live in Toronto if there ain't going to be an auto race there? You know, Montreal looks awfully good to me as a city to live based on this news. At least Montreal has auto races - two of them, in fact. Plus, they have a world-class comedy festival. I am an even bigger comedy nut than I am a movie nut, so that has the Toronto International Film Festival all beat.

On top of all that, the Habs are winning. Where are the Leafs? In the basement and on the phone, looking for a Mats Sundin deal.

As I say over and over, Toronto has completely gone down the tubes ever since I left. News like this isn't exactly going to encourage me to move back.

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