Isle of Man TT Global Expansion Plans

Study considers World Series of TT races

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Mar. 17, 2011
Isle of Man TT organizers are considering expansion to an international series of TT races.

The Isle of Man’s Department of Economic Development will conduct a feasibility study on developing a Tourist Trophy-branded world championship series with similar time trial road races held internationally.

Held since 1907, the Isle of Man TT held World Championship status until 1976 when the International Motorcycling Federation stripped its status due to safety concerns. Safety might be the largest obstacle standing in the way of global expansion plans. All-time Grand Prix wins leader Giacomo Agostini famously boycotted the Isle of Man races after his friend Gilberto Parlotti died in a crash on the mountain course. Several riders followed Agostini’s direction, eventually leading to the FIM’s decision. Continuing global economic struggles may be another roadblock.

Today, the TT has become the Isle of Man’s most recognizable brand, drawing a lot of revenue for the independently-governed British crown dependency, both in terms of tourism income as well as sponsorship, television contracts and licensing.

“We are in the early stages of a consultation process and would welcome approaches from potential partners who are interested in the venture,” says Allan Bell, the Isle of Man's minister of economic development. “The TT Races, as one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious sporting events, has incredible heritage and attracts interest worldwide from fans.

“We want to develop and grow this global audience for the benefit both of the event and the Isle of Man.”

Pending the results of the feasibility study, a world championship series may debut as early as 2014.