IndyCar to continue in Birmingham through 2016

On the day of one of the world's biggest car races, the City of Birmingham and Indy Car executives announced a resolution to a big money question. {}A deal is now in the works to keeping funding the race weekend."There were skeptics that would this work in NASCAR country? And I think the answer has been a resounding success," Gene Hallman, Bruno Event Team said.It was the announcement everyone was waiting for.{}"Because of the vision of George Barber, the participation of the City of Birmingham, the participation of the State of Alabama, Honda, who is the title sponsor, this is huge for Alabama," Senator Jabo Waggoner said.The race that rings up almost $82 million to the city of Birmingham now has the official support from city leaders through 2016.{}"We sold Indy tickets in all 50 states and 9 countries around the world," Hallman said. "And hotels are full all over this metropolitan area."You may remember at a council meeting two weeks ago, Mayor Bell requested a four year contract for the event locking the city into four payments of $300,000 - but other council members said they should continue evaluating the event year by year - instead of locking into a long term agreement. "The problem that existed with that - we would have to wait three weeks before we could actually put it back on the agenda," Mayor William Bell, Birmingham said. "This Tuesday will be the three week period of time and hopefully the Council will support it."But in the end, the new deal is to continue funding the Honda Indy Grand Prix, year by year through 2016 - contributing $300,000."It puts Birmingham and this metropolitan area on the map as being an automotive center in all aspects -from the manufacturing to enjoyment of auto sports racing, so we are grateful to the extension," Mayor Bell said.The funds will be on this Tuesday's city council agenda. {}