Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear Ceremoniously Signs Economic Bill in Victory Lane
Against the backdrop of the Kentucky Speedway, Gov. Steve Beshear today ceremoniously signed House Bill 3, which increases the state's chances of attracting a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
The legislation - proposed by the Governor during the recently completed special legislative session -- includes a provision to amend the Kentucky Tourism Development Act to add 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.
"Attracting a NASCAR Sprint Series Cup race to Kentucky would be a huge economic win," Gov. Beshear said. "NASCAR is not only the number one spectator sport in the United States, it also attracts an international audience through its broadcast in more than 150 countries and 30 languages." O. Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., (SMI) which owns Kentucky Speedway, previously stated that passage of the legislation would put Kentucky in position to host the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, that sanctioning body's top racing series.
SMI owns seven tracks across the country that host Sprint Cup races. Smith said he believes Kentucky Speedway, with the extensive upgrades he is planning, could be home to a Sprint Cup race in the near future.
"I appreciate the confidence Gov. Beshear and the legislature have shown in SMI and Kentucky Speedway. I promise you it is not misplaced. Thank you many times over for getting this bill passed, it means a lot to what we're doing here in Kentucky. Sprint Cup racing will be our next move here.
"We've had a great year so far and we'll continue to have a great year. I think Speedway Motorsports works harder than anyone else in the business. We'll certainly work harder here because racing in Kentucky is probably the second religion.
"I believe this because I've met so many people here. If anyone was here for the last (NASCAR Nationwide Series) race, you saw what we did and we're proud of it. It's onward and upward, we're going to do great things here," Smith said.
Legislators associated with the bill shared Smith's enthusiasm. "I am very excited about the possibility of a Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway and the economic impact it will bring not just to Gallatin County but to the entire region," said Rep. Royce Adams, of Dry Ridge. "That is why I was happy to do my part in passing this important legislation."
"This is a great day for the entire region," said Sen. John Schickel, of Union. "Owner Bruton Smith has a history of making things happen and I am confident he will bring a Sprint Cup Race to this facility. Having a world class sporting event right here in Northern Kentucky is very exciting."
Story courtesy of Gov. Steve Beshear's Communications Office
~Kentucky Speedway ~