The Associated Press
claims in an exclusive report that the Hulman-George family has been advised by the consulting group it hired to evaluate its business options that H-G should retain ownership of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but make a number of changes to its operations.
The AP says Boston Consulting Group's 115-page report offered various suggestions on how to better position IndyCar racing, which the AP says it has obtained a copy of. Its ideas include running a 15-race series condensed into just 19 weeks, including a three-race playoff series. It also suggested consolidating the TV schedule into just a single TV partner rather than splitting between NBC Sports Network and ABC/ESPN, as the schedule currently does.
Interestingly, the AP says the BCG report suggests that NBC may have violated its contract with IndyCar by promoting a second motorsports series, potentially providing an escape from IndyCar's long-term contract with the network, which is scheduled to run to 2018.
The report goes on to suggest IndyCar should reduce its Leaders' Circle subsidy payments to teams and redirect the funds into a weekly purse based on performance. Currently, the league is giving teams a $1.1 million subsidy while race winners earning just $35,000.
Late Friday evening, Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent company of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar, issued a public statement in response to AP's report.
"Late last year, Hulman & Company hired the Boston Consulting Group to assist in developing a long-term strategic plan for the growth of its motorsports business. Since then, BCG has produced many documents, including an early version of a document that is the subject of several news reports today, that include suggested elements for the plan. BCG examined many important questions throughout this process, including how to define our overall brand, how our motorsports properties can attract more fans, how we can make our races more appealing to television viewers and live audiences, and how we can help our teams, partners and other stakeholders be more financially successful because of our relationship.
"The work BCG has done provides conversation points around several important areas of our business as we shape our thinking about the future, but our strategy has not yet been finalized. As part of finalizing our strategy, we will be sharing information with our stakeholders and listening to their feedback and ideas before we come to any final conclusions. We are in the early stages of this process and will be communicating to our stakeholders and fans as we define our strategy for the future."
Read the full AP report here