• Grand Prix of America

New Jersey race will be 'like a three-day Super Bowl'

ESPN Staff
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Construction work is ongoing in New Jersey © Sutton Images

Organisers of the Grand Prix of America are hoping to put on a show akin to the NFL's Super Bowl when next year's race takes place in New Jersey.

The 3.2-mile circuit will be built in the districts of Weehawken and West New York with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. Chief Operations Officer Dennis Robinson is hoping the size and scale of the event will rival the biggest sporting events in the USA.

"The scope is huge," Robinson said. "This is like a three-day Super Bowl weekend, but with more people. The 2014 Super Bowl will host 80,000 people. Here in New Jersey, we're going to have more than 100,000 for the race. From an operations standpoint, it is huge and significantly larger than most events that we've had in this country."

Bernie Ecclestone has expressed doubts over whether the circuit will be ready in time, and while Robinson accepts the project is on a tight schedule, he is confident it will be delivered on time.

"You assume you're late," he said. "It's instantaneous decision-making, high expectations for vendors to turn things around quickly, holding people to due dates and taking every advantage to cut time out of the process. We have to move every decision toward a quicker resolution and find a way to do it faster, better, smarter."

And he said building a circuit on the side of a cliff also brings its own challenges.

"Instead of building a facility where we design it to our specific operational needs, here it's just the opposite," Robinson added. "We have to figure out how to make the best of an existing infrastructure and environmental conditions that we can't control or modify. We have constraints we wouldn't have in a fixed facility. We can't move the cliff. We can't move the waterway. So we have to be creative."

The inaugural race is planned for June 2013, although next year's calendar has not yet been published.