A city councilor lashed out at the organizers of the Boston IndyCar Grand Prix for its failure to reach out to South Boston youth sports organizations and build local partnerships, threatening to lobby councilors to oppose the event in a formal resolution if he doesn’t see a change in posture.
“If IndyCar is listening, they better be on the horn this morning, or I’ll be looking to work with the lead sponsors to convert this to a resolution whereby this body goes on record saying we don’t want IndyCar; not this year, not next year, and they can go to other destinations,” said Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty during Wednesday’s City Council meeting.
Flaherty argued that South Boston organizations deserve mitigation because the neighborhood will bear the brunt of the inconvenience and impact from the Labor Day weekend event, which will attract 170,000 spectators and require months of construction to reconfigure roads in the Seaport District. TNS
IndyCar said it have and will reach out to Southie.
“The Grand Prix of Boston had made extensive outreach to numerous nonprofits and charitable organizations that have a tremendous impact in South Boston and beyond,” spokesman Harry-Jacques Pierre said in a statement. “Last fall we made contact with South Boston Youth Hockey about a partnership and are going to pledge a significant donation to the organization very soon.”
Pierre pointed to IndyCar’s partnership with the Greater Boston Food Bank and the Grand Prix’s partnership with the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes and Veterans Homestead.
The call-out comes as race organizers and Mayor Martin J. Walsh work on a revised memorandum of understanding to host the event.
“The mayor has made it clear to IndyCar that community engagement is key to this process as it moves forward,” Walsh spokeswoman Bonnie McGilpin said.