Montreal mayor cancels Formula E race due to cost overruns, sponsorship woes

Drivers take their start at the Montreal Formula ePrix electric car race Sunday, July 30, 2017 in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/CP)

Montreal’s mayor has decided to cancel the controversial Formula E race.

Valerie Plante says cost overruns and sponsorship woes are two of the reasons for the decision.

She told reporters at city hall this afternoon keeping the event in 2018 would cost taxpayers between $30 million and $35 million.

Only 25,000 tickets were sold for this past summer’s event, which became a hot potato in the fall election campaign that saw Plante defeat Denis Coderre, the driving force behind the race.

Plante says the only way the race can return is for the city to clean house and work on a better business model.

The mayor says her party started looking into the file as soon as it won November’s election.

"What we discovered was not only troubling, it was shocking," she said. "It became pretty clear as early as May 2017 that we were heading to a financial fiasco, a situation the previous administration was perfectly aware of.

"My administation is willing to make risks and to invest money to promote Montreal and to attract international events but not without a serious business case."

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