Q. I know that on social media, particularly Twitter, you had a lot of fan interest in getting IndyCar back to Pocono and I know you did a survey that had pretty strong sentiments for a return. How do you now translate or get those people to buy tickets and ensure they actually back up their desire?
BRANDON IGDALSKY: I think you saw that last night when Randy came out on "Wind Tunnel," there was a lot of fans that immediately started tweeting us right away.
And we know that from the area hotels that we have talked to that people already started to book rooms. When things started to leak out, they were already doing it. Tickets went on sale this morning and we have been inundated with phone calls all morning with people wanting to buy tickets.
They are there; they are ready; now that they have the opportunity, they are showing it. And we will just continue to promote it locally in the market and in our neighboring areas where we know the fans are at and keep driving to get them there.
Q. Mario Andretti said today how big this is for the Northeast race fans. How do you reach out beyond that and make this bigger than just a Pennsylvania event, or is that enough for you?
BRANDON IGDALSKY: It's an international event, and we see that with our other events here. Because of our proximity to New York and Philadelphia, there are a lot of people that come overseas. They will spend a few days in New York or Philadelphia, and then will drive up or take a bus up to come to our race and enjoy our racing. We are going to see some of that, especially with this series and having a little more international flair to it.
At the same time, there's the traditionalists and the true IndyCar fans that remember what Pocono was all about in the '70s and '80s, and I think you're going to see a lot of them come back and come back in droves.
Q. Is it going to be the Pocono 400 or will you look for a sponsor?
BRANDON IGDALSKY: Right now it's the Pocono IndyCar 400 but we will be pursuing sponsors for the race.
Q. Why is the race 400 miles at Pocono? Many people thought it would be a 500‑miler.
RANDY BERNARD: A 500‑mile race would have been the tradition and that probably would have been our first choice. But having Pocono on ABC was really important to us to keep continuity. We are going to have six out of seven races all on ABC. And by doing that, ABC only had a three‑hour window, and so we couldn't go to a 500‑mile race unless we wanted to switch to NBC Sports Network. We just thought it was really important to keep all of the ABC races as close together as we could to continue to create momentum for the series.
Q. Do you have any additional details regarding the double-headers? We know both races stay on the same network, but I know there are some details like how you will qualify for those races.
RANDY BERNARD: We will have more information coming out as the year goes on.
Q. Do you think those tracks would sell that as separate races, those ticket packages, or have they expressed how they will handle that?
RANDY BERNARD: I think it will definitely be a weekend package, just like there is today. I don't see the promoters changing their ticket packages. There's typically a ticket for Saturday and a ticket for Sunday.
Q. Just how long have you been working to set up these double-headers? How long have they been in the works?
RANDY BERNARD: For a few months. We started looking at our entire business model and we started looking at how we could grow our viewership and build exposure for teams and drivers and help sponsors. We felt this was one of the ways that would make sense, because it just gives your fans the opportunity to see twice the action on the weekend.
Q. You mentioned earlier that we had Edmonton off the schedule and you don't necessarily see adding an extra race this year, possibly there or anywhere else on the schedule – how much did that impact the decision to make Toronto one of the double-headers?
RANDY BERNARD: It had a significant impact, quite honestly, because there was a couple other promoters that were very interested in double-headers.
We really wanted to just keep it at three double-headers and that's when we chose to go with Toronto wanting to make sure that Canada kept two races. Toronto is one of the largest cities in North America, as well, so that doesn't hurt. The other opportunity we believe is that we have always seen great racing there. If you have great racing on Saturday, it's just going to increase the drama and excitement for Sunday.
Q. What will that mean for Canada to keep two races and to have as a double-header in a place like Toronto, given that Edmonton is off the schedule?
RANDY BERNARD: I think there's so much going for Canada right now; the fact that you have (James) Hinchcliffe and (Alex) Tagliani driving for the series; Rogers Sports Network, which is going to have all the races on live [in Canada] next year, which will be a big difference than this year; Rogers, the promotional value they are going to give us to really put a tremendous amount into the sport.
When you have a great television package, you have great drivers, you have to provide them some great events. We would love to see one more race up there. Unfortunately, it just wasn't in the cards this year.
Q. I'm still fuzzy on why you think double-headers are a good idea. On one hand you're pre‑supposing somebody will be there for the whole weekend and would enjoy seeing two actual races, but isn't there a possibility that you would be asking spectators to choose one over the other if they can only go to one race? I also don't understand why you think a doubleheader would do anything for your television ratings that weekend?
RANDY BERNARD: I'm a big believer that you can build your television viewership on double races on a weekend. I think that you will see at these three double-headers, your fans get to come in and see twice the action. I believe your average distance traveled to a race will be up further on these three weekends than any others, because if you're going to travel to a race, why not go to one that has two races? You already have a hotel room; you already have airfare, if you plan on traveling to a race.
I think the other thing is if you decide to sit home and watch one race on TV and go to the other race, that's fine, too. I think that you see in other major league sports that double-headers work very, very well.
I think the key to this is we are not talking about an amateur series. We are talking about the best drivers in the world where fans that associate their favorite drivers, they get to see twice as much action. I think that's the most important part.
Q. Are there any talks about getting possibly a sponsor to take over for the Triple Crown, like last year you had Go Daddy front the money for Vegas. Is there a possibility of like a Go Daddy Triple Crown for next year?
RANDY BERNARD: We never turn sponsorships down. But I think the most important part of that right now is now that we wanted to get it announced.
I think it was real important for the tradition and the history of our sport that if we are going to bring Pocono back, let's bring the Triple Crown back. We have got six months, eight months to really work on getting a sponsor on it.
But we have a lot of things, a lot of assets that we are going to be announcing that will be great places for sponsorships, as well. Right now we are just setting up our year and just making sure that we are going to bring a lot of new excitement to our fan base.