Public funding of stadiums, arenas and other privately promoted sports events is a financially dubious proposition for taxpayers, at least according to some critics of the phenomenon. I tend to agree. If an event isn’t sustainable on its own it’s not a good business deal. So I’m not that broken up about the fact that the mayor of Birmingham, Alabama has withdrawn his request for the city to cut a four year, $1.2 million deal with promoter Zoom Motorsports to at least partially underwrite the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama races scheduled to be run at Birmingham’s Barber Motorsports Park. The mayor decided not to go forward with the deal after the Birmingham city council was deadlocked on the issue. A majority of the council was in favor of supporting the race with money and in-kind services, but the mayor and the council president have sparred over particulars of the deal, like the length of the proposed contract. In addition, Councilman Steven Hoyt, a backer of “diversity” initiatives, inflamed the debate with his comments about race from the council dais, implying that blacks have no interest in motorsports.
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