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Michigan officials say Red Bull-sponsored race owes $76K

April 16, 2018

In this July 26, 2015 photo, Scott Speed, right, and Sebastian Ericsson, of Sweden, compete in the Red Bull Global Rallycross on Belle Isle in Detroit. Michigan's Department of Natural Resources and Global Rallycross organizers are in a dispute over payment of a user fee to stage the event on the state-owned island. (Jose Juarez/Detroit News via AP)

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan officials are threatening legal action against organizers of a Red Bull-sponsored Detroit racing event on allegations they refused to pay a nearly $76,000 fee.

The state Department of Natural Resources made numerous attempts to collect the user fee after the 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross race series on Belle Isle, the Detroit News reported . The fee goes toward park improvements, such as bathroom upgrades and sidewalk repairs, according to officials.

Global Rallycross organizers said they won’t pay the fee. Organizers allege the state didn’t close off the park to those without admission, causing them to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in ticket sales.

The Michigan Attorney General’s Office is now considering “other options, including litigation, to collect the amounts due.”

Global Rallycross CEO Colin Dyne said he initially agreed to pay a $25,000 user fee for the park. The amount changed when the state threatened to cancel the event because it was being held the same weekend as a charity run. Dyne said he was subject to an increased user fee of $100,000 to keep the event as planned.

The user fee totaled at $75,943 and was signed by Global Rallycross founder Chip Pankow, according to a state land use application.

The state asked that Global Rallycross work out an agreement and accommodations with the charity run’s host, the Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program, according to the department’s chief of parks and recreation, Ron Olson.

Dyne alleges he upheld his end of the agreement, but the state didn’t close the park during his races.

“My ticket sales were dismal,” Dyne said. “This is not how people do business. You (Michigan) do not deserve the balance of your money.”

Global Rallycross’ permit didn’t promise “exclusive use of any department lands or facilities.”

“We have been very accommodating, and it’s time to step up and figure out why the payment hasn’t been made,” said Scott Pratt, the department’s chief of southern field operations.

Detroit isn’t the only place that has experienced difficulty getting Global Rallycross to pay fees. The organization took seven months to pay a $20,000 fee for an event last year in Ottawa, Canada.

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Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/

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