Construction prevents Formula E from being run at Gilles Villeneuve racetrack
Published Thursday, December 14, 2017 1:11PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 18, 2017 8:29AM EST
The organization in charge of the e-race is $10 million in debt, according to a media report published Thursday.
Movement Montreal leader Lionel Perez said when his party was in charge, he was transparent about the amount of money the race would cost and the debt it could incur.
“It was also very public that a $10-million loan guarantee was going to be issued so everything was transparent,” he said.
City councillor Marvin Rotrand, however, said council was misled and called the debt “more of a fiasco that anyone could have imagined.”
“Denis Coderre hid as much as he could. He knew things were going south. He knew there was election coming up. He misled the members of council who asked pointed questions about the e-race,” said Rotrand.
In a statement, the city said it will receive the full financial report in the coming days and meet with the organizers of formula e and make a decision about the future of the race.
Days before the municipal election, it was revealed just over half the tickets were sold, and the rest given away.
The city is contractually required to host the race for two more years.
In a campaign promise, Mayor Valerie Plante vowed to move it away from the downtown core, saying she hoped it would happen at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
That won’t happen this summer, though, because work is set to begin immediately after the F1 ends.
"For 2018, it's not possible," said Genevieve Boyer of the Parc Jean Drapeau Society. "Considering the fact that we have moved events on Ile Notre Dame because of the other construction site that we have on Ile Ste. Helene for the construction of a new amphitheatre."
There are other locations around Montreal that have expressed an interest in hosting the event, including the operators of the St. Laurent Technopark.
Last year the city had to pay Formula One racing a $4 million penalty because work had yet to begin.
It's all part of the more than $190 million the city of Montreal is spending over a decade to keep the Formula One race in the city until 2029.
Four years after it was first announced, the city of Montreal has issued a tender for bids to undertake major work to renovate the Gilles Villeneuve racetrack.
The city of Montreal will pay $30 million of the $48-million price tag to update the paddocks, the control tower, and other amenities.
The loges will be able to seat more 5,000 people, up from the current capacity of 1,800.
Construction is due to begin in June 2018, once next year's edition of the race is over, and be completed by April 2019.