'Exciting' boat race could bring $10 million to TC, says organizer

May 10, 2017

An old flyer advertises the Grand Traverse Bay Offshore Classic, which originated in the 1980s.

Fans of high-speed boat racing want to hold a three-day race on Grand Traverse Bay next year. Organizers say the “Grand Traverse Bay Offshore Classic” could draw 100,000 spectators - and $10 million - to Traverse City.

But reception to the event has been mixed. Some city officials say they’re concerned about pollution, noise and access to the bay.

Matt Soper is a Traverse City local who’s helping organize the race. He says the event would bring back offshore races that took place on Grand Traverse Bay in the 1980s.

"What a perfect place to have an offshore boat race," says Soper. "Traverse City counts on tourism as one of its prime economic impacts. A race like this ... will significantly help the downtown area."

Soper spoke with "All Things Considered" host Aaron Selbig about his plans for the race and the reception it has received so far.