I know this is not new news to some of you but I haven't had the time to offer up my 2 cents about it until now. I haven't even had to time to reply to an email I got from Marc over at Full Throttle about this - sorry Marc, I hope this post will suffice as a reply.
To steal a famous line from an equally famous movie, "If you build it they will come", I know it should be 'he' instead of 'they' but quit being picky - geesh.
This modified famous line is the exact thinking that some people are having around where I live, and I don't know if I should remind them of what has transpired in Kentucky these last few years.
If you remember, a NASCAR-style race track was built in Kentucky a few years ago under the premise "If you build it, they will come" with 'they' meaning NASCAR. Well NASCAR came, but they never brought their number one series with them and the powers that be at the race track decided to try to sue NASCAR into bringing a Cup race there and the suit is still in the courts. Although, I don't think the track owners have a leg to stand on there, NASCAR never promised a race to them.
Well someone else is building a NASCAR-style track just a short drive away from where I live with no promise from NASCAR that they will come once it is built. They are only going on the statement issued by some NASCAR official a while back that they want to hold a top-tier race in Canada.
O.k. what exactly is top-tier? Nationwide? Craftsmen Truck? Sprint Cup? I would consider all of them to be top-tier compared to other racing series, but I digress.
Anyway, the track will be located just outside of Niagara Falls in the community of Fort Erie. There is great highway access and it is a short drive to Buffalo - approx. 20 minutes.
The proposed track would seat 65,000 to begin with and would be expanded to 100,000 if NASCAR came. The $200 million (est) 1-mile oval (with a 2+ road course in the infield) is being built to NASCAR specifications and would employ about 1,200 people to build it. The track would then require about 120 full-time employees to operate it throughout the year and would generate about $35 million in new tax revenue. I'm unclear what percentages of that would be Federal and Provincial though.
Where is the initial $200 million investment coming from? Good question. Kuwait. The Kuwaiti Islamic investment bank Bayt Al Mal Investments to be exact. In fact representatives from both the Provincial and Municipal governments went to Dubai to finalize the deal.