Officials in Detroit who helped bring the Red Bull Air Race to this area appear to be in no rush to win back the event's return next year, but applauded Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis for travelling to London this weekend to meet with the company.
"Anything he can do to get them to seriously consider coming back to Detroit is positive," said Chris Baum, senior vice-president of sales and marketing for the Detroit Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Red Bull came to Detroit on a one-year deal thanks to Detroit Air Racing, whose leaders spearheaded the effort to form a committee and pursue the event.
That same committee is in the midst of assembling a three-year contract for Red Bull to return, Baum said.
"There is a committee and process in place," he said. "In terms of the proposal, it will be Detroit Air Racing's call on how to approach this."
Francis and Windsor's tourism boss Gordon Orr went to London this weekend because they felt Red Bull is leaning to moving the event elsewhere because of some operational concerns.
The company is poised to lock in its 2009 global air race schedule sometime within the next week or so, the mayor said.
But Baum did not seem overly concerned, noting this year's air race event in Detroit was not finalized until sometime around last Christmas.
Red Bull media officials could not be reached Friday, with a company spokesman indicating they were busy in Ottawa with its Flugtag event -- where everyday people build homemade flying machines and pilot them off 22-feet-high ramp.
Baum said everyone in Detroit was very pleased to host the Red Bull Air Race and are poised to gladly welcome them back.
"They drew large crowds -- paid and unpaid," he said.
Red Bull officials alone booked 5,000 room nights at the Ren Cen's Marriott Hotel, Baum said.
"From our perspective we are always interested in filling rooms. it was a very positive event, no negatives. The fact we outdrew San Diego (the only other U.S. stop) by a wide margin bodes well for a return to Detroit."
Posted by Erin Rose at 2:05 PM