SBD/May 10, 2013/Facilities

State Bill Could Provide Iowa Speedway Up To $8M For Facility Upgrades

The Iowa state Senate Tuesday approved an appropriations bill that would give $8M to Iowa Speedway over the next four years to "upgrade its facilities in an effort to bring" a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race to the track, according to Hamilton & Petroski of the DES MOINES REGISTER. The funding was "included in the so-called standings appropriations bill," which received "no debate." The bill "must still be considered by the Iowa House." The legislation says that the state money would "be appropriated to the Iowa Economic Development Authority for the development and promotion of a national sporting event at the automobile racetrack location in the City of Newton." The speedway has "hosted the Izod IndyCar Series and NASCAR’s second- and third-level series" in the past. However, state Sen. William Dotzler said a Sprint Cup event would be "the Big Kahuna." Dotzler said that the track would "need to expand its stands, restrooms and concession stands and make other upgrades to offer Cup racing." While it is "difficult to crack the 36-race Sprint Cup schedule," NASCAR HOFer Rusty Wallace, the track's designer and minority owner, said that the money would "provide a boost in his racetrack’s efforts." Wallace added that the money could "help the Speedway expand its permanent seating from 25,000 to 60,000 and 'improve the infrastructure around the track to get it in shape for a Cup race'” (DES MOINES REGISTER, 5/9).
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