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Indy set for upgrades with legislation approval

Apr 27, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

IMS Pagoda Getty Images

A bill that would help fund improvements to the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been approved by the Indiana General Assembly and is now heading for the desk of Gov. Mike Pence.

House Bill 1544, which has passed through the Indiana House and Senate, calls for the creation of an Indiana Motorsports Investment District that will capture sales and income taxes at the commercial property that includes IMS, which will then go toward future investment in the Speedway.

According to the legislation, the track will receive a loan from the state of Indiana for up to $5 million per year for 20 years to complete upgrade projects, and the loan will be repaid through expected increases in income and sales tax collections at IMS — which will kick in $2 million a year over 20 years ($40 million total) themselves toward the improvements.

“We appreciate the hard work done by state lawmakers to ensure Indiana remains the worldwide leader in motorsports,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president/CEO Jeff Belskus said in a statement. “This legislation will allow us to make transformative improvements to our 104-year-old facility over the next several years that will greatly enhance the fan experience.”

In addition, the bill also creates a special fund for motorsports-based businesses in Indiana to apply for loans that can help them improve their own facilities. The state will provide up to an additional $5 million annually to the fund, which will be run by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

The legislation was introduced into the Indiana General Assembly in February. A Feb. 8 press release from IMS stated potential projects that could occur thanks to the legislation, such as the installation of lights, adding high-definition video boards, and seating and restroom upgrades.

  1. apexassassin - Apr 27, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Hard to believe this with all of Indy’s other problems… you’d think that same money would be better spent on education and lowering the massive dropouts to prison ratio. As a resident I’d be pissed, unless I earn my living by renting my yard as a parking lot. I really can’t see any of the top tier motorsports returning to Indy any time soon.

    • indycarseries500 - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:59 AM

      IndyCar, MotoGP, and NASCAR Sprint Cup, Three of what I’d consider the five top-tier motorsport classes race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Will F1 return or the WEC ever come? I doubt it but never say never.

      • apexassassin - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:07 PM

        My bad, I thought Austin replaced Indy for MotoGP (i’m only a casual fan of the bikes). So Indy has ONE top tier series visiting the Brickyard. IRL has been on a downward spiral for 20 years and Nascar Sprint is… well… that’s Nascar for ya.. and neither has worldwide appeal or presence.

        I certainly hope F1 never returns to Indy… it was bad enough the last time (though Indianapolis itself has undergone an amazing transformation in the last 5-8 years from the utter Waffle House embarrassment it was during the F1’s previous tenure) and actually resembles a modern city now. A modern city with the highest level of dropouts performing violent crimes and going to prison, I should add.

  2. techmeister1 - Apr 28, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    While I like to see motorsports supported, I don’t think tax payers should be the ones to pay for it. The local businesses benefit from the racing at Indy but not the rest of the state who are the majority paying for this bill.

    • apexassassin - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      That’s why I really like Chris Christie’s plan for the NJGP. It would have been 100% privately funded with all the support services (police, fire, ems, etc) being paid straight from the F1 revenues.

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