Gov. Beshear announces NASCAR Sprint Cup race coming to Kentucky Speedway
Beshear successfully pushed for incentives to attract race
SPARTA, Ky. (Aug. 10, 2010) – Gov. Steve Beshear today announced that a NASCAR Sprint Cup race will be coming to the Kentucky Speedway on July 9, 2011. NASCAR will be moving into its first new market since 2001, and Kentucky will host the premier racing event in the nation.
“I am thrilled that all the hard work of my administration to bring a NASCAR Sprint Cup race to Kentucky has finally paid off,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “The legislation we proposed and pushed and I signed amending our Tourism Development Act to attract legacy expansion projects to Kentucky was critical in bringing this race to Kentucky. In addition to the excitement this race will bring to race fans, it will have an unparalleled economic impact on the region. Kentucky Speedway – start your engines!”
In 2009, Gov. Beshear proposed legislation amending the Kentucky Tourism Development Act to help attract a Sprint Cup race to Kentucky. The legislation adds a new eligible category of so-called “legacy expansion” projects. Legacy expansion projects must conduct events that are in the top league, series or sanctioned level of their type of event, provide permanent seating for 65,000 spectators and be broadcast nationally. The venue must have previously been approved for incentives and the expansion project must exceed $30 million and present one or more “premier events” not previously held in Kentucky. The Kentucky Speedway was among the first projects approved under the Kentucky Tourism Development Act that provides tax incentives to new or expanding businesses.
“We’re going to create the biggest sports event in the history of the state in 2011, and any fan that comes here will know what it means to be lucky in Kentucky!” said Bruton Smith, Chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc.
“NASCAR has a huge number of racing fans here in Kentucky, so finding out that a Sprint Cup race is coming is like an early Christmas present,” said House Speaker Greg Stumbo. “The Kentucky Speedway has long been one of the state’s crown jewels, and now it is going to get a chance to truly shine. This race, and the economic benefit it will bring, could not come at a better time.”
“The legislatively initiated policy that facilitated this long-awaited Sprint Cup is an example of how targeted incentives in special circumstances can allow entrepreneurs to create jobs and grow our economy,” said Senate President David Williams.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup series is the premier series of NASCAR races, and the number two rated regular season sport on television. It is the number one spectator sport, having more of the top twenty highest attended events in the country than any other sport. The Beshear administration and local officials believe this high level of spectator attendance will have an unprecedented economic impact on the Gallatin County region and beyond. Estimates of the impact to the Kentucky tourism economy range up to $150 million.
“It’s certainly going to mean a lot to Gallatin County and to the region,” said Rep. Royce Adams. “It’ll bring economic development to the whole area because of the increase in attendance.”
For more information http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com/default.aspx