State News

Lowe's Motor Speedway to Stay in Concord

Posted November 21, 2007 6:47 p.m. EST
Updated November 21, 2007 6:58 p.m. EST

— A spokesman says that Lowe's Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith has decided to keep his operation in Concord rather than move it as he had threatened.

Speedway official Jerry Gappens says Smith plans to discuss his decision at a news conference on Monday.

The issue arose when city officials said Smith couldn't build a $100 million drag strip near the speedway because of noise concerns. Smith then threatened to move the speedway.

Fearing the loss of a major economic engine, the Concord City Council then reversed its stance and approved the drag strip proposal. The city also sweetened the pot by offering up to $75 million in incentives to help Smith renovate and expand Lowe's Motor Speedway.

The incentives, which could include improvements to nearby roads and property tax rebates, would be evenly split among Concord, Cabarrus County and the state, officials said.

Studies show NASCAR generates about $5 billion a year in North Carolina. About 90 percent of race teams are based in the state, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame is being built in Charlotte.