There are a lot of reasons to go to the Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP round, but one of the highlights is surely to take in the Indy Mile flat track race at the Indiana State Fairground. One of the most visceral experiences you can have as a motorcycle racing fan is to stand at the side of the track as a pack of rumbling V twins thunder past at high speed, and the event is a huge favorite with both the fans and the MotoGP riders and team members.
However, in the aftermath of a tragic accident at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, in which a temporary stage set up for a pop concert collapsed in strong winds, killing 6 visitors, Family Events - which organize the Indy Mile at the State Fairground - have been forced to cancel the event. The debris from the accident has not yet been fully cleared and an investigation into the causes of the tragedy is still in full swing. Because it is not yet clear whether the fairground would be cleared in time for next Saturday's Mile, it was felt better to cancel it early.
Below is the official press release from Family Events announcing the cancellation:
Due to Ongoing Investigation of Stage Collapse at Indiana State Fairgrounds, Indy Mile for 2011 is Canceled.
(INDIANAPOLIS) The Indy Mile AMA Pro Racing Flat Track Grand National, scheduled for Saturday, August 27, 2011 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds has been canceled due to unavailability of the track. On Saturday, August 13, 2011, the overhead rigging structure of the stage in front of the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand at the State Fairgrounds collapsed under heavy winds during a concert headlined by the Country Music group Sugarland. Five people were killed and dozens were injured in the accident. Portions of the debris from the accident came to rest on the adjacent dirt track.
Subsequently, a series of investigations into the causes of the accident have commenced. The examination of the wreckage is expected to continue for an indefinite period of time. This has forced the closing of the Grandstand and one-mile dirt track to events until the investigation is completed and the debris is removed.
Officials of the Indy Mile have been therefore forced to cancel the race for 2011. Persons with tickets will be offered refunds at their points of purchase.
C. Bruce Hubley, CEO of The Promotion Company- Family Events, producers of the Indy Mile said, "We deeply regret that we will not be able to hold the AMA Pro Racing Indy Mile Flat Track Grand National this year due to circumstances completely beyond our control. The officials at the Indiana State Fairgrounds are not in a position to give us a date to reschedule this season due to the indefinite nature of the ongoing investigation, so we are forced to cancel this year's race."
Dan Johnsen, Director of Flat Track for AMA Pro Racing said, "Losing a round is nothing compared to the loss of life, and our hearts go out to everyone affected by this tragedy. AMA Pro Racing's thoughts are with all of those now coping with the after-effects."