Red Bull Air Race organizers weigh offers around Balaton


móni lázár

The organizers of the annual Red Bull Air Race visited Zamárdi, on Lake Balaton, on Tuesday in their search for an alternative venue for this yearʼs event, which has been banned from downtown Budapest, the cityʼs mayor told state news agency MTI.

Photo: Móni Lázár

The organizers already negotiated with city leaders last week, as they did with local officials from Fonyód, another town on the southern shore of Lake Balaton, said Zamárdi Mayor Gyula Csákovics.

Visitors could watch the race from Zamárdiʼs three kilometer-long beach, while pilots could use nearby airports in Sármellék, Siófok or Szentkirályszabadja, Csákovics said. Hosting the race just a week after Balaton Sound, a music festival that draws tens of thousands of young people to the same venue, would not be a problem, "as thatʼs what the high season is for," he added.

Budapest Mayor István Tarlós recently said the capital would not issue a permit for the Red Bull Air Race, planned for July 12-14 of this year, because of "inadequate conditions," prompting a search by local organizer Hungaroring Sport for an alternative venue.

The city of Keszthely, at the northwest corner of Lake Balaton, has also indicated it would welcome the race in July, partnering with the neighboring spa town of Héviz.


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