Thursday, September 27, 2012

Is Edmonton’s loss the Northwest’s gain?

By now you’ve probably heard that the Edmonton IndyCar race has been canceled - which is a sad day indeed; as I can personally attest to how wonderful the people & atmosphere is there, having personally attended the 2010 event... Having been solely enticed by Team ‘KanaDuh’s Mike Cockrall, albeit I didn’t ever get my Pace Car ride with thee Mayor ‘O Hinchtown. Which even if it was a Honda Civic/Accord, who cares. That woulda been an absolute hoot!

Thus I found it even more shocking that none other than the Edmonton Oilers owners were in Seattle recently to discuss the possibility of relocating to the newly approved Arena project being backed by Chris Hansen in attempts to return the NBA to Seattle, along with adding an NHL franchise to the Pacific Northwest . As the new purpose built 18,000-seat complex would be located in Downtown Seattle nearby ‘Der Clink (Century Link) and Safeco Field.

As Y’all may be aware of Century Link field right now, as apparently their was ‘somme-thun known as “The Call” that just occurred there, right? As somehow I’m imagining there’ll be a whole lotta Golden Tate jerseys being sold this week, eh?

And I’m still shocked over the possibility of the Oilers moving to the Emerald City? As surely such a storied franchise wouldn’t move, would it? Or is this just one more glimpse of the current lockout & the money grubbing owner’s attempts to get hold of every single Looney... As I’m not sure what Edmontonians’ would do without their beloved Hockey, eh? And I really don’t wish to see the practice of throwing fish on the ice return - which has been a Seattle minor hockey league tradition; but it’d be kinda funny to have Wayne Gretsky Boulevard driving past a vacant hockey arena, right?

And somehow even though it was intended as a Freudian slip when I scribbled this was Edmonton’s last race, albeit knowing they had a 3-year extension deal - which had been the motivating factor in my quest to attend the 2010 race, which was then to be the cities last event before the new agreement... Needless to say, that all the way from here in my ‘lil Abode in the Jet City I really wasn’t privy to, nor know the exact causes of Edmonton’s failure, other than it seems like its always been treated as Toronto’s red-headed ‘Step-seester!

As it appears that Octane Motorsports, the races promoter, who is responsible for the Canadian Grand Prix never truly got behind their Edmonton venture, promotions-wise, as its funny how Rexall, who ironically owns the naming rights to the Oilers Arena has been absent as title sponsor since the new agreement was struck... As we all know that wonderful tag-line “It’s the Economy’s fault,” right?

As I can understand the locals disgust towards Octane and the sensible decision to walk away from IndyCar after throwing away $22m, yet notice the related income benefits of $80m reportedly to the cities coffers, not to mention lets recall how the Edmonton race was cancelled once before...

And I sincerely do not wish to see Edmonton lose its race, especially for Team ‘KanaDuh’s sake - as Messer Cockrall has toiled mightily to keep this race alive and vibrant... Not to mention the people were absolutely great and definitely knew their racing Up North Eh!

Yet if this does transpire, especially with the Trackside Boyz tossing out the tidbit that Providence, Road Island is within easy reach of Montreal, might this be part of Edmonton’s impending demise? Especially since I’d signed the petition back in 2010 to save the airport which is slated for urban redevelopment sometime in the near future; Hmm? Why do the circuits Riverside and Westwood come to mind?

Recall back in ’10 that Calgary was hinted to as a possible replacement for Edmonton’s demise, which is supposedly just a 3-hour drive... While I’d love to see a return to Vancouver, BC personally; especially since its just three hours north on I-5, depending upon the border crossing traffic, etc, now that the Winter Olympics are a fleeting memory, eh?

And then again there’s still my wistful dreaming of a return to my adopted Hometrack just across the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon; Y’all know Portland Int’l Raceway or whatever it’s called these days, since I’m led to believe its changed hands... As it’s also just a 3hr drive south upon Interstate 5...

And even though I’m NOT a fan of Double Header weekends, which reeks of Junior formulae to Mwah, albeit having attended one such event in my life, a late 1980’s Toyota Atlantics West race at the then Seattle International Raceways in Kent, WA; subsequently returned to its original name of Pacific Raceways... I haveda say that  Team ‘KanaDuh’s comments about running Edmonton twice, once in each direction makes me ponder how entertaining this sort of “Double” would be at Portland, albeit I don’t know if its even remotely possible? Nevertheless Mr. CandyMann; “Here’s your Sign!”