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AMA & Daytona Motorsports Group Press Conference Transcript
by susan haas, seamstress for the band
Saturday, March 08, 2008

This is a transcript of last night's press conference where the AMA announced that the Daytona Motorsports Group will take over all aspects of AMA Pro Racing. AMA CEO Rob Dingman started the press conference off, in front of a near-packed media center, and then took a few questions.

Rob Dingman:

"Then in what can only be described as an ill-conceived and unethical blunder, the AMA attempted to take Roger's business without compensating him. ...I'd like to stop here, because this has never been done publicly. I've done this privately, but I want to apologize to Roger Edmondson on behalf of the AMA for what the AMA did to you and to your wife and your family. Those dark days represent the old AMA, and that's not what the AMA is about any more. It's not about dirty dealings. We're going to be led by integrity, honesty and hard work, and collaboration. All of those things are going to be the cornerstone of the foundation of the AMA."
--Rob Dingman, AMA CEO
I want to thank all of you for being here this evening and coming out in the rain to be with us. As Pete said, my name's Rob Dingman. I'm the President and CEO of the American Motorcyclist Association. With me today is Roger Edmondson, who's the founder of the CCS motorcycle racing series, and currently President of Grand American roadrace series. Today is a very historic day for the American Motorcyclist Association. This morning, the AMA released a statement announcing that we've entered into an agreement in principle to sell the sanctioning, promotional and management rights for AMA Pro Racing properties to the Daytona Motorsports Group based here in Daytona Beach, Florida. The principal of that organization is Roger Edmondson and also Jim France. We're here this evening to provide some context to this announcement, and also to answer all the questions that we can at this point. Most of you here are involved in professional racing, professional motorcycle racing, whether you're in the press or whether you're a team, riders or manufacturers, sponsors, promoters. So we wanted to bring everyone together and explain the big picture and the reasons behind why the AMA made this decision.

When I became CEO of the AMA, I began to quickly realize that the AMA's core mission had become diluted, because we tried to be too many things at once. And that detracted from what we really needed to be, and detracted from our core mission, to protect and promote the future of motorcycling. We got criticism from all corners, and continue to get criticism from all corners. We needed to have a firmer grasp on the legislative and regulatory issues that face us. Our member benefits and services have become average, at best. And we just had a complete inability to market and promote our professional racing series.

So in the fall, in September, we launched a wide-ranging effort to re-dedicate the Association to the core mission, as I said, to protect and promote the future of motorcycling. We revealed new goals and strategies to the AMA Board, and our first priority in this reorganization was to improve the image of the AMA brand through a redefined role in racing. In other words, we wanted to step away from professional racing to the extent that we could, so that we could let our brand grow without being mired in the controversy of racing. Because as you know, even on your best day, a sanctioning body is controversial. And we wanted to rededicate ourselves to being a membership organization, provide member benefits, and provide member services, and to fulfill our mission of insuring a bright future for motorcycling in America. And to that end, we launched a request for proposals process, seeking commercial partners to handle the commercial aspects of our racing series, to be the commercial promoters. And it was a wide-open RFP process, because we wanted to encourage creative proposals, and we didn't want to discourage anybody from thinking outside of the box. And our deadline for submissions of the RFP proposals was February 1st, and many groups submitted bids, but we were very surprised and, frankly, quite honored by the scope of the offer proposed by the Daytona Motorsports Group led by Jim France and Roger Edmondson.

In short, DMG offered to take over the sanctioning, marketing and management of all of AMA's Pro Racing series. For us, we just looked at it in terms of the most successful motorsports entertainment company in the world wanted to apply their sanctioning and marketing expertise to the AMA's Pro Racing series. Beyond that business expertise that DMG brings, they also brought a passion for motorcycle racing. Many of you equate the France family name with NASCAR and its incredible success there. But few people know that the France family has had a significant role in the early successes of flat-track, the Daytona 200 and Supercross. Jim France is an avid motorcyclist and a lifelong AMA supporter. In fact, back in the late ?70s, the France family sent an executive to the AMA, when the AMA was in a difficult time period. We had lost an Executive Director to malfeasance, and the France family was there to send an executive from NASCAR to come help run the AMA. Organizationally, we've never forgotten that. I'm just real pleased that we are able to continue the partnership. I'm just real thrilled that the France family thinks enough of the AMA to enter into this arrangement with us.

And equally significant is the role that Roger Edmondson has played in the success of roadracing in America. Roger started and successfully ran the CCS series in the 1980s, which eventually became AMA National racing and the foundation for AMA's Pro Racing series. Then in what can only be described as an ill-conceived and unethical blunder, the AMA attempted to take Roger's business without compensating him. After a protracted legal battle, the AMA settled, and much of that has been made public, so I'm not going to get into that. Roger went on with his life, and today runs a very successful Grand American roadrace series, and he's widely regarded as one of the most successful motorsports promoters in America. What I would add to that is that by many accounts, our roadracing series has not been run as well since Roger was affiliated with it - since Roger ran the program, it has not been nearly as successful as it was since then. We actually made a decent amount of money at that point, too, that we haven't been able to do since then.

I'd like to stop here, because this has never been done publicly. I've done this privately, but I want to apologize to Roger Edmondson on behalf of the AMA for what the AMA did to you and to your wife and your family. Those dark days represent the old AMA, and that's not what the AMA is about any more. It's not about dirty dealings. We're going to be led by integrity, honesty and hard work, and collaboration. All of those things are going to be the cornerstone of the foundation of the AMA.

With this agreement, the AMA is on sound footing for the first time in a generation. We have secured the future of professional motorcycle racing in America. We have secured the legacy of the AMA name in professional racing for years to come. We have freed the AMA to embark upon its core mission to promote and protect the future of motorcycling. With this agreement in principle, we are saying that the AMA agrees on all aspects of the DMG proposal, and this agreement was, by the way, unanimously approved by our Board of Directors. Of course, there remain many parts of the agreement that we still have to conclude and finalize, so we're not going to be able to discuss all the parts of this agreement today, but we would like to answer as many questions as we can. Nevertheless, AMA and the Daytona Motorsports Group are moving forward in good faith to conclude all the remaining pieces that we need to work on. With that, I'd like to turn it over to Roger for his thoughts.

Roger Edmondson:

Thank you, Rob. I feel like this is an episode of This Is Your Life. I didn't expect the kind words or the apology. I have to tell you this is a very special moment for all of us here in Daytona. The opportunity to become the custodian - not the owners, but the custodian - of this sport, the entire realm of motorcycle professional sports in this country, is a once in a lifetime opportunity. When we first heard about the new direction the AMA was going to take, I was quick to point out that the AAA did the same thing back in the ?50s when it turned out that they didn't feel their future was in motorsports, but in motoring, and it's proven to be very successful for the AAA.

Dingman: Forty-one million members.

EDMONDSON: There you go. And I believe that it is the right approach. I have to tell you that when Dennis Rhee and Rob sat in my office and presented to me their vision of what had gone wrong at the AMA, it was a stunning thing, because all of us in here have been involved with AMA racing. Love it or leave it, for frustration or whatever, but no matter how angry we ever got or how upset we got and how terrible things we said about the AMA, I didn't think I'd ever hear it said by the man who was charged to run the AMA. And that told me - it's my turn now to say good things back - that told me we were dealing with a different animal here than the functionaries and bureaucrats who had padded their own nest and looked after their own interest without any accountability to the memberships. And my respect for Rob Dingman went straight up that day.

It also piqued my interest. I loved motorcycle roadracing. I loved it for years. It was not only something I did, it was who I was. And when the disagreements came up with the AMA and we ended up nose to nose and as litigants in court, it was more than just a financial issue with me, it was really a destructive time of my life. I can recall walking through the paddock and having friends avoid eye contact, and turn the other way, because they were fearful that association with me at that tense time was going to affect their ability to follow their passion. And that's because we all love this. We all love it. And every one of us, no matter how angry we get, wants to see a successful AMA. And I believe we all want to see the motorsports division of it also be as successful as it possibly can. We've got some of the greatest athletes in the world participating in all of our various disciplines. We just need to do a better job of making that the story - not the controversies that are a natural byproduct of racing, but the performance that takes place on the racetrack. And that's going to be part of our goals.

And we are honored, and with all humility accept this opportunity. As excited as we can be. I'm trying to be real calm right now. I'm jumping up and down inside. But it's great also, as a personal note, to look out and see so many old friends that I haven't seen in a long time. And I hope I never experience that dead man walking syndrome again, but that we can reestablish those relationships, and together, by listening to all the stakeholders, to find out their views, find out their needs, find out their interests, find out what we need to do to make this thing go as far as it can.

We don't claim to have all the answers. And you're going to ask me some questions tonight that I will not have answers for. But I know Hillary says she's ready to be Commander in Chief on Day One, and I think John McCain says the same thing. I'm not telling you that here. We've got a lot to learn, and thank God for the way this contract process works. We're going to have 2008 as a transition year to get up to speed on things on which we know very little. But we do know the fundamentals of the motorsports business.

When Jim France called me and asked me to start Grand Am, I said, "Jim, I don't know squat about sportscar racing." He said, "Doesn't matter. You know how to run a sanctioning body. Come on down and we'll make it happen together." Well, we're going to do the same thing here. I don't know squat about more kinds of motorcycle racing other than roadracing. But there's a lot of people out there who do. And we're going to lean on that expertise, and working together with the best professionals out there, we're going to take this thing as far as it can go, and we're going to do it with the full backing of the folks on this campus, and there is no better group of racing people than the ones found right here in Daytona.

People laugh sometimes and make fun of the Speedway calling themselves the "World Center of Racing." I've got to tell you, it's not just self-proclaimed. This is the world center of racing, not just as a racetrack, but as a community. And that campus of people who work in the offices across the street, there is no greater concentration of motorsports professionals anywhere in the world than right here in Daytona. And thank you, Rob, for the opportunity.

Q&A

Q What's the relationship going to be of the Daytona Motorsports Group with Grand Am?

EDMONDSON: Well, we're going to share some of the same personnel and the same offices at the beginning, but as we go through 2008, we'll start hiring the personnel necessary who will specialize in the motorcycle program. As we get the staff large enough, we'll spin it off into a separate office. You know, when we started Grand Am, I was the first and only employee, and then we hired Mark Raffauf, one of the most experienced people in sportscar racing. And one by one, we built up to where we have a staff now in the mid-thirties. We'll do the same thing here. But Grand Am is going to be the place where this is all housed, and much of what we do on the roadracing side, of course, is going to be taking advantage of the professionals we have in the Grand Am series.

Q Roger, can you define, is this is a sale? Is it a licensing deal? What's the term? How long does it last?

EDMONDSON: Well, it's an acquisition, and it lasts as long as we're in business. We are not licensing or borrowing or leasing AMA Pro Racing rights, we are buying the rights. And so we will replace the AMA as the sanctioning body for AMA Pro Racing activities.

Q So it's a full sale?

EDMONDSON: A full sale.

DINGMAN: I would point out that it does exclude the Supercross and Arenacross, as those rights are held by Live Nation.

Q Is the AMA name going to change on the racing series, or is it still going to be branded the AMA?

EDMONDSON: No, it'll be AMA Pro Racing. There's a long heritage of AMA racing, and while, again, those of us who consider ourself to be insiders, we may rail against the Man day in and day out, but the fact is, the general public considers AMA racing to be the real thing, and rather than start from scratch, I think our best interests lay in taking that brand and taking it forward. This is a departure from what the initial intention was when Rob first started out. They wanted to divorce themselves from the sport, because they felt in many ways the controversy that is attendant to racing was holding the AMA back. But again, we're honored that as a sign of confidence in us, they've agreed that we can use the name AMA Pro Racing to carry it forward. And we're going to carry that name with pride.

DINGMAN: And I would add to that, also, that it was very important to us in this deal that we maintain the AMA champions, and the AMA professional racers will always pursue that AMA No. 1 plate. And we will continue to sanction amateur racing, as well.

Q A question for each of you. Rob, how many groups submitted proposals, and did any other group submit a proposal incorporating all the racing properties like DMG?

DINGMAN: There was not another proposal that embraced everything that was embraced by the Daytona Motorsports Group. Most of the proposals confined to one or two or I think as many as three disciplines. But none of them proposed to take over the sanctioning as well as the management and commercial aspects. As far as the number, Dennis, would you recall the number?

RHEE: Fourteen.

DINGMAN: Fourteen bidders total.

Q And Roger, do you have a vision for AMA roadracing at this point, or is that yet to be determined over the course of 2008 with feedback from the stakeholders?

EDMONDSON: Well, the vision, the overall vision, is no different than it was for me back in the ?80s and ?90s. I want to see this sport reach its potential. When we started Grand Am, the same thing, the original idea was simply to go in and try to take sportscar racing to the next level. Well, we've gone about three levels since where we were back in the beginning. I think that it's important that we find a way to move to true professionalism here. I'll give you an example. I don't think that one rider, one bike, a guy getting in a van and going somewhere to race for prize money is professional racing. In other words, the old division used to be, if you made a little more money than you spent, or if you had the potential to make more money than you spent, that was professional racing. Professional racing is when you leave home and your bills are paid for by a sponsor, and you're representing a company. So our goal is to try to build this sport to the point where there are professional teams who are sponsored and who have an entity of their own, much like Richard Childress Racing is in NASCAR. So that's not just in AMA roadracing. That needs to be true across the board. If it comes down to operational issues, obviously I think roadracing first and everything else second. You asked Rob about the proposals. Many good companies made proposals, and one of the next steps for us is to go out to those companies and conclude their deal, because their deal will now be with us instead of being with the AMA. And there are a lot of good, talented people out there who are ready to make investments. But to make the full investment that's necessary to grow their particular discipline, they need to know that their property rights are intact and respected. And every contract that we do will be a model after the Live Nation contract. I have to tell you that was part of our thoughts. At the beginning, we were only interested in roadracing. And we looked at the tremendous success of the Live Nation program, not only in terms of the events they run and where they run them, but in sponsor sales and ticket sales and all the things they have done. And that's a model for what needs to be followed, and what the other sports need to do. On roadracing in sportscars, we looked at 1948 as the day that Bill France started NASCAR, and we looked at that as the same point in time when people started racing sportscars in this country. And then we looked at the comparative size of the two, and the public acceptance of NASCAR versus the public acceptance of sportscar racing. What went wrong? We need to take the same hard look at motorsports, at motorcycling motorsports. And if we look at what's been done at Live Nation, that does create a template for us on the contracts we're going to try to make with the other specialty people, so that motocross and flat-track and hill climb and all of those other things that we're going to be responsible for, is put on a solid business basis with companies that know what they're doing, and we're going to build it to where all of those disciplines are loaded with people who are sponsored and can take a real professional view, not just a hope for a purse and a check that'll get them home that weekend.

Q Roger, this question is for you. With Grand Am and Grand Am Cup, Grand Am Cup still follows the formula of production-based sedan racing, where Grand Am and Daytona Prototypes kind of took an independent arc from anything else in sportscar racing. So with the AMA roadracing, do you plan to take it more in the same direction as some of the other national Superbike championships and World Superbike, or are you thinking, or at least considering, taking it on a more independent arc, kind of the same way that you did with Daytona Prototypes?

EDMONDSON: Well, let's examine why we did Daytona Prototypes, and go back even a step further. Let's look at the early days of NASCAR. At the beginning NASCAR raced real cars that you could buy at the dealerships. And in fact, there were people who crashed their cars on Friday's practice and bought new ones that night and were able to race them on the weekend. And then they went, not so long ago, they went to the tube frame car that was a [inaudible] car, and of course now they're doing the Cars of Tomorrow, which is a completely different step. We have no plans for the Motorcycle of Tomorrow, okay? We're going to continue to base our product, our racing product, on motorcycles that you can buy. You know, the industry's made a tremendous investment in carrying this sport. I'm talking now about the manufacturers and distributors in the United States. They have really spent a lot of money to build the sport up to where it is. Not only in fielding teams and in designing product that can be raced as well as ridden on the street, but also in supporting the promoters with sponsorship and hospitality programs, and program management, all those things. That asset is a head start we didn't have in Grand Am. We started with nothing. We had no rules, we had no employees. We had one race date, and that was the Rolex 24. I laugh about it now, but the first sportscar race I attended was the Rolex 24 that I had to be responsible for. But I had the right people. And it wasn't my genius in running that event, it was my genius in hiring the right people. Well, I hope God's still got that working for me, because I believe the right people are out there, and I believe that they will be attracted to this. The one thing that's been the wind in my sails through my entire motorsports career has been the association with Jim France. I have been blessed to be able to make my living, do what I enjoy, and at the same time providing him with programs for the things in which he has passion. And so we go into this knowing - I know this sounds cocky, but forgive me - we know it will be successful. Once the France family decides to move forward on a project, it does not fail. It may have some hiccups, it may have some problems. But it is not going to be allowed to fail. This is quite clear. I'm not a kid any more. This is the last mission for me. I don't want to walk out a failure either. So I'm excited about the opportunity. It's going to make me feel young again for a little while. But we've got a great future in all of these things by getting the right people together.

Q Roger, will this transaction affect the Moto-ST series that the Grand Am currently sanctions?

EDMONDSON: Yes, it will. Moto-ST was designed to fill a niche that wasn't being filled by the AMA's programs back when we conceived of it, and that was racing for two-cylinder motorcycles, and it was racing for teams and multi-rider racing. And that racing will continue. One of the things we've done there was, we took some of the - you know, it's funny. When I went in and started Grand Am, I took some of the ideas that we had from motorcycle racing, we applied them to the sportscar side. For example, the sighting lap and the two-wave start, that's all a standard part of Grand Am sportscar racing now. Well, when we started Moto-ST, we took some of the things that had been applicable and worked well in sportscar racing to motorcycle racing. For example, two-way radios. There's no rule changes planned for 2008, but I can assure you right now that two-way radios will be part of this sport in the future. It is such an incredible tool for everybody involved that we've got to do it. And we're proving that it can be done safely and beneficially in Moto-ST. Another thing that we've done with Moto-ST, we've run several of those events in conjunction with the sportscar races, with the Daytona Prototypes. And this gives people who may be coming to an event with the idea to see one property and one type of racing, it cross-pollinates and helps by letting them see the motorcycle racing. And the best example is VIR. Last year, we had the Moto-ST race on Sunday morning, the Daytona Prototype race on Sunday afternoon, and our spectator crowd was up significantly. And it was also interesting to see the vendors and the other people who responded to that mixture. So Moto-ST will definitely have a place, and it's our intention to work with our promoters to see what place it has on the national weekends. But we're getting way ahead of ourself. Again, I'm certainly happy to answer questions of this type if this is where you all want to go, but I want to remind you, this is the AMA's announcement, and this is not just a new beginning for a sanctioning body group, but it's also the beginning of an AMA that's going to have the ability to be all it can be. I feel guilty nobody's asking Rob any questions right now.

DINGMAN: I don't feel guilty at all, Roger. [Laughter]

Q Roger, how long is the Live Nation agreement for, and would you guys be interested in it once it expires, if it does expire?

EDMONDSON: Well, the Live Nation agreement is through 2019, and I probably won't be on active duty by that time, all right? But it is an agreement with the AMA. And you have to understand, we're not acquiring the AMA. We're in the process, as part of this, acquiring Paradama, either through stock or through the assets or both. And until the most recent contract, Paradama did hold the rights to Supercross, but for whatever reasons that I'm not familiar with, that now is an AMA property. They couldn't properly sell it to us when they've already licensed it to somebody else. The AMA has an obligation now to Live Nation, and by contract, Live Nation has some obligations to the AMA. We will certainly meet with the Live Nation folks in person in the near future, and suggest to them that it might be appropriate to take the AMA out of the picture, and create a new contract. And I'll give you just one simple reason for that. The AMA is a not-for-profit membership organization. It's a huge club whose main mission on the racing side is going to provide activity for the members. Live Nation's a for-profit racing organization, trying to hold races that are entertaining and sell tickets. Well, so are we. So it could be that two Protestants might get along better than one Protestant and one Hindu, you know what I'm saying? And so I think that trying to come up with a contract that puts motorsports professionals together, doing things directly with each other, will be more beneficial than having to through the AMA in the middle. And I'm confident that Rob would be more than happy to step aside and eliminate that liability to the AMA if he can.

Q Roger, the AMA committee passed Superbike rules for 2009. Do you plan to honor them, or do you have a vision for what the roadrace program will look like in 2009?

EDMONDSON: I do not plan to blindly honor those rules. I do not. I need to review them. I haven't even read them. It might turn out they're the best set of rules in the world, and if they are, we'll adopt them. But I don't think we can know that until we get a little bit more time on the ground. I think it's going to be important that we, again, talk to the stakeholders, the teams and the manufacturers, and get their read on it. Our vision for Superbike may turn out to be different than that set of rules, and if it is, we'll adopt our vision and go from there. But again, we need to make sure that we do so understanding the issues and the unintended consequences of any decisions we take.

Q Roger, do you know at this point, do you plan on having Superbike remain the premier class, or do we know that?

EDMONDSON: Superbike will remain the premier class in AMA racing.

Q What are the chances of that being the Daytona 200 again?

EDMONDSON: That is our intention. As soon as possible, and that means probably next March, because we can't do it tomorrow. [Laughter]

DINGMAN: I thought you said we could do it tomorrow, Roger.

EDMONDSON: You know I lie a lot. [Laughter]

Q What about venues, Roger? The places that you have contracts with, you have to honor. Do you have other venues in mind that you're planning on taking the series?

EDMONDSON: No, I have no plans to change venues at all. Quite clearly, our making a deal with the AMA does not absolve the AMA of keeping its contractual commitments. We have to remember that the party that is always overlooked, it seems, is the promoter. And that's the individual that takes the financial risk in this. We don't go in and rent racetracks and hold a race as a member activity. We're paid to come in and put on a program or a show, just like a rock band's paid. So it's essential that we keep in mind the needs of the promoter who, as I think, is probably vilified unfairly in many, many cases. We all think of the promoter as the guy with the big hat and the car with the horns on the hood and all the big, loud, blustery stuff. But that's not the promoter group that I know, and I think that we should be pleased with the promoters we have around the country. I know there's been a lot of improvements made in the racetracks. And this is all done with private money. We don't have the luxury of government subsidies like they do in other countries.

And so, the AMA Safety Committee and the AMA management since I left, and the promoters, who are a very enlightening group, have worked together, I believe, to try to improve this thing, and it would be absolutely dead wrong for us to abandon them. That doesn't mean we won't add to the schedule. But I had a conversation with one of the most respected people in the industry this morning, and pointed out that every time we introduce a new race, it puts a real financial burden on our entire economy, and I used Grand Am as an example. We have about 50 teams on a typical weekend in a Grand Am race. And it costs about $100,000 per team. From the little guy to the big guy, budgets average out about $100,000 a race. Well, if you take 50 times 100, you've got a $5 million hit. Now, I don't have to pay it, and no promoter has to pay it, but that has to come from sponsorship, or private money, or the promoter's sanctioning fees, or wherever. But any way we look at it, we see the sanctioning body and the community as exactly that. It's almost like a small country. We've got our own laws, we've got our own police force, we've got our own currency, our own language we talk. If you talk some of the insider language to people on the street, they don't know what it is. But we have our own economy, and that economy in sportscar racing, it takes a $5 million hit every time we go racing.

Well, I don't know what the numbers are right now in motorcycle racing, but the concept's the same. Every time they go racing, there has to be money to support it, and we have to live within our means. I think that's been part of the problem the AMA has dealt with, is that the management of the AMA, in trying to please all those members, actually went out and subsidized programs that didn't need to be subsidized because they couldn't stand on their own two feet. And I hate to be harsh about it, but the real world demands that my checks clear the bank, and yours too, and I think we have to do this in a businesslike way. Look, there's lots of issues, and we can't begin to know what they all are today. But what we'll do is we'll work with the people who are in the sport. We'll find out what their issues are. We'll make a list of them. And then we will prioritize them based on our ability to address them properly. Some will be quite easy. Some will require a lot of thought. Some will require outside funding. All of that has to be dealt with. But I assure you that we will make every effort in every discipline to grow this thing and go with it. And again, I'm calm now, but I am - I joked with one of my fellow members that I'm kind of like the guy who wants to charge into Hell with a water pistol looking for a fight with the Devil. I just can't wait to get started.

And by the way, while I've got one more minute at the end, I want to recognize the other members of the Daytona Motorsports Group who you may or may not know. Right here is David Atlas [sp]. Over on that side is Tom Bledsoe. Tom is Treasurer of NASCAR and has been associated with the France family for years. And Jim is probably here, but he's probably wearing a fake mustache and glasses and a big nose, because Jim France does not like to direct from the center of the stage. He's a soft-spoken regular guy. He's probably the most regular billionaire I know. You would not know him. I've seen him loan a pen to people so he could get an autograph for some lesser light at a NASCAR race right next to him. He's a regular guy, and this is his passion, and like I said, with his backing, this can't fail. I hope we have your backing, too, because we're going to need it.

Q Rob, is there a dollar figure associated with this transfer of the rights, and if so, what will AMA members see from that compensation?

DINGMAN: As I stated earlier, there are a lot of details that we're still working out. Once we have a definitive agreement, then we can talk more about what the finances are, but I'm not prepared to talk about that at the moment until we finalize the arrangement.

EDMONDSON: I don't want you to be mistaken about that term, "definitive agreement" or "agreement in principle." An agreement in principle is part of the contracting process. We've agreed to all the terms the AMA has and we have. It's simply a matter now of having some of the best motorsports attorneys in the country make a contract that makes it clear, so that we can avoid the unpleasantness of the 1990s where we started arguing over who owned what, and what was the appropriate way to go. When you've got a proper contract, you never have to look at it, and when you've got a proper partner, you never have to look at it, because the contract is just there to sort out the mess when the fights start. But that's the definitive agreement. We expect to have that put together in the next couple weeks.

ENDS

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