Montreal back on the F1 schedule for next 5 years
Mayor Gerald Tremblay and federal and provincial politicians said at a news conference Friday an agreement is in place for the race to be held in city from 2010 to 2014.
The race had been held at Montreal's Gilles-Villeneuve track every year since 1978 before being dropped in 2009. It was scrapped after a financial dispute between local authorities and racing impresario Bernie Ecclestone. Ecclestone had wanted $165 million to keep the race in Montreal.
The decision was a blow to civic pride, coming after Montreal lost its major league baseball team and its status as Canada's business capital.
The federal government and Montreal's tourism bureau will each contribute in $24 million over five years, while the province will spend $19 million and the municipal government nearly $5 million.
"We're in pole position for June 13, 2010," Tremblay said, announcing the date of the next race.
The Formula One event draws wealthy tourists from all over the world and has provided an annual boost to businesses. Quebec says that of the 300,000 spectators at the race, 25 percent are from outside the province. The province says the event is responsible for $84 million in economic benefits and Quebec will collect more than $9 million in additional tax revenues every year because of the race.
"I am certainly delighted by this news," Quebec Tourism Minister Nicole Menard said.