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Formula 1 U.S. Has A President

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Tuesday, February 22 2011

Formula 1 United States chairman Tavo Hellmund, left, with Bernie Ecclestone, the president and CEO of Formula One Management, right, appointed a president on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Formula One United States)

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Steve Sexton, former president and CEO of Churchill Downs Entertainment and former President of Churchill Downs, has joined the Formula 1 United States management team as President.

“Steve brings more than 25 years of major sports and entertainment management experience to our project. He understands our aspirations as an owners group and we have every confidence he will be a tremendous asset to our operation going forward,” said Tavo Hellmund, founding partner and Chairman of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.

Sexton assumed the role of President of Churchill Downs Entertainment in 2009 after serving as President of Churchill Downs racetrack. He was appointed Executive Vice President of Racing Operations for Churchill Downs Inc. in 2002 and delivered six consecutive years of growth for the venue, posting the second, third and fourth highest attendance records for the Kentucky Derby.

Sexton is also a veteran of planning and construction of large-scale facilities. In 2004-2005, he led the team that completed a $121 million Churchill Downs grandstand construction, establishing 80 luxury suites and seven exclusive hospitality areas. In addition, he was a key member of the team that constructed and operated Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, located in Grand Prairie, Texas, a $96 million project that opened in 1997.

“Bruce Knox provides strong leadership for the Formula 1 United States project and will continue in his executive role. Steve Sexton complements the team and will build upon their success,” stated Red McCombs, founding partner of the Formula 1 United States project, “He is the right man for the job.”

“We are creating a world-class business and entertainment destination,” said Bobby Epstein, a founding partner in the Formula 1 project. “Steve’s experience in managing premier events like the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup positions us to deliver an experience that will become known around the world. I know all of us are excited to be working with him on this monumental project.”

This is Sexton’s fifth time leading a major sports entertainment destination. Along with his time at Churchill Downs, he served as President of Arlington Park where he led the first of two Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championship events for the publicly-traded Churchill Downs, Incorporated. Prior positions include Vice President and General Manager at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas; General Manager of Thistledown in Cleveland; and Assistant General Manager at Ladbroke’s Golden Gate Fields in San Francisco.

“This project represents a unique opportunity for the City of Austin and the State of Texas to be the focal point for a world-wide audience,” stated Sexton. “I am very pleased to join the talented team the owners have assembled and am excited to be a part of building a showcase that attracts diverse visitors from around the world and opens new education, innovation and research opportunities to benefit the global community.”

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Tuesday, February 22 2011
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