IMS To Receive $100M In State Funding For Track Upgrades; Night Races Ahead?
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence "signed off Friday on a bill" providing a $100M financial package for upgrades at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, according to Jon Murray of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. The IMS assistance package will "help the track pay for improved seating, better access for the disabled, new video boards and lights to potentially allow for night races." The state will provide $5M per year for 20 years to "assist with payments on bonds handled by the Indiana Finance Authority, with the Speedway required to kick in" $2M per year. A new motorsports investment district will "collect the growth in sales and income taxes at the track and at concessionaires that surround it, as well as through a new ticket tax, to repay the state for its contributions." Pence expressed "concerns early on" about the bill. But he said that the legislature improved it by "making the state’s contribution a loan and by requiring the Speedway to contribute, protecting taxpayers." Murray noted the bill also was broadened to make $5M "available annually for low-interest loans to 48 other Indiana tracks and motor-sports businesses" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/11).