At its April 18 meeting, the Long Beach City Council voted unanimously to approve a $150,000 agreement with KPMG Corporate Finance LLC to assist the city in the evaluation and selection process for the operator of the Grand Prix of Long Beach.


On November 18, 2016, the Grand Prix request for proposals closed with two responses. One response was from the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, currently affiliated with IndyCar racing, while World Automobile Championship of California LLC proposed a Formula One affiliation.


John Keisler, director of economic and property development for the City of Long Beach, said, “Essentially, [KPMG] will conduct outreach of places that both have Formula One and the IndyCar race operators and work with those organizations to both review technically what was accomplished there and ultimately what the financial impacts and results were of those events.”


KPMG’s scope of work will include “review of technical qualifications, references, referenced engagements; assessment of technical proposal for reasonableness and achievability; comment and review on proposal economic data and sensitivity analyses; assessment of financial capability of proposed teams; review of financial plan and financial data in proposals provided; assessment of commercial viability; and review of risks allocated between parties,” according to the staff report.


Second District Councilmember Jeannine Pearce said, “I think that making sure we are activating that space in downtown is so important, and the fact that we are taking the time out to really look at the best financial impact for the city is a great opportunity.”


Concerns were voiced regarding the time frame of the analysis, with 7th District Councilmember Roberto Uranga noting the recently approved four-year contract with the current operator. Additionally, one public commenter said that bringing the findings back to council so close to 2018 race time leaves too much uncertainty for operators and sponsors.

Fourth District Councilmember Daryl Supernaw asked that the process not be dragged out over a long period of time, which could destroy the energy of the race.


“Clarity for our current partner and other possible folks that are interested, I think, is really important,” Mayor Robert Garcia said. “I know that I – and others – will be ensuring that we stay on track and get this done as soon as possible.”

Brandon Richardson is a reporter and photojournalist for the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal.