November 29, 2011 Public Meeting Press Release
November 29, 2011 Public Meeting Presentation
Who is IMEDC?
International Motorsports Entertainment and Development Corporation (IMEDC) is a Minnesota corporation committed to the development of a state of the art motor sports complex in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
What are they proposing?
IMEDC is proposing to build a motorsports complex called Minnesota Speedway Park (MSP) that will consist of a 7/8 mile oval racetrack with seating for up to 65,000 spectators, a 1/4 mile drag strip with seating for up to 35,000 spectators, and a hotel, conference and exhibition center.
The proposed project site is in the northwest corner of the interchange of Interstate 35 and County Road 2 in the City of Elko New Market in Scott County.
Is IMEDC connected to the recently reported effort to build a race track in Arden Hills?
No. A totally unrelated group is promoting that idea to Ramsey County as an alternative to the Vikings stadium. While some members of that group were once associated with IMEDC, they are no longer and have not been for some time. IMEDC looked at Arden Hills when it was considering possible race track sites and determined, for many of the same reasons that the Vikings stadium proposal there is losing steam, that it was not a workable location. IMEDC continues to be focused solely on the Elko New Market site as the best location in the twin cities area for a major motorsports entertainment complex.
Is there really a market for this in Minnesota?
There is a very large underserved market in Minnesota. NASCAR statistics indicate that Minnesota represents the 8th largest market for Sprint Cup races in the U.S. NHRA ranks Minnesota their 7th largest market and Indy Racing also the 7th largest market. Interest surveys consistently show that 70 percent of respondents regard themselves as race fans, with 40 percent of those saying they spend nine or more hours per week on race related activities.
Aren’t we already “over sports”?
Racing represents a unique sports market second only to professional football in popularity in the United States. Racing fans are also among the most loyal of sports enthusiasts following brands, events, and racing celebrities closely over long periods of time.
Who’s paying for this?
MSP will be privately funded. Public support will be sought for off-site transportation improvements designed to serve both the project and general public use.
Minnesota has a long and storied racing tradition. The first 24-hour race in the United States was held at Hamline Speedway which eventually became the track at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport actually began as the site of Speedway Field Racetrack built in 1921. Minnesota is also home to some of racing’s largest corporate sponsors, companies like Target, 3M, Best Buy and General Mills and dozens of others spend tens of millions of dollars every year on race teams and racing events.
How does this benefit Elko New Market and Scott County?
MSP will bring significant benefits to the Elko New Market, Scott County area. Its development will generate thousands of new construction jobs as well as thousands of additional indirect jobs among suppliers and others servicing construction. Once MSP begins operation it will generate hundreds of additional full-time jobs, and thousands of part-time event related jobs. It will also generate millions of dollars in state and local tax revenue, and support the demand for an array of ancillary services from hotels and restaurants, to housing and retail development.
What kinds of events are planned?
MSP will be designed to accommodate a wide variety of activities ranging from large scale national racing events to smaller regional events. It will also be home to non-racing events like car and equipment shows, trade shows, conferences, concerts and auctions. Its benefit to the state and region will be maximized by providing an active and exciting year-round venue.
Has NASCAR committed to race at Minnesota Speedway Park?
No. NASCAR’s official position on proposed tracks has consistently been that those proposals must be considered without the assumption of a NASCAR sanctioned event. In an article featured November 17, 2011 in the Shakopee News quoted NASCAR official Rosalie Nestore as saying “Although NASCAR is hopeful that IMEDC achieves much success in the development of its motor sports facility, any endeavors to develop a motor sports facility in Minnesota must be done without any expectations or reliance that NASCAR will sanction an event at its facility if and when it is completed.” Ms. Nestore also clarified “NASCAR only considers a track when the track has been substantially completed and then presents an application for a specific NASCAR sanctioned event to be held at that facility.”
IMEDC is positive and confident in our chances of attracting major races to Minnesota, particularly given the large number of Minnesota-based corporations. That however is only our belief. As we have stated at every presentation on this topic NASCAR has not made any commitment to MSP, and the business plan for the track has been developed on the basis of that understanding.
What about the traffic?
Effective traffic management will be critical to the success of MSP. While the vast majority of events each year will be smaller and easily handled by existing infrastructure, especially given the proposed facility’s close proximity to I-35, the few large events anticipated each year will require a carefully designed traffic management strategy that will assure safe and convenient access to and from the site. IMEDC will work closely with state and local authorities and consultants, and will draw on the best practices of other facilities around the country to guarantee the best possible fan experience, and meet local requirements and expectations.
What about the noise?
Modern acoustical engineering and design techniques can result in both an exhilarating fan experience while at the track and an acceptable environment around the track. IMEDC is committed to achieving all applicable noise standards and to working with state and local regulatory agencies to devise and implement a state of the art sound management plan.
What is the proposed schedule?
IMEDC’s goal is to have the facility open for race events in 2014.
Will there be opportunities for public input and questions?
Yes, there will be numerous opportunities throughout the project development process for public input and information updates. These opportunities will be incorporated in the review process and IMEDC’s public involvement plan.