Friday, August 04, 2006

Speedway leaving fairgrounds?

I've heard talk lately that the River Cities Speedway would like to vacate their current home on the old fairgrounds and build a new speedway further out from town (presumably to the west on Highway 2). I personally think this would be a great thing. First, it would give the speedway the chance to build a newer, more modern facility with better visibility and in an area that would have room for expansion. Secondly, it would (hopefully) mean an end to the roaring sounds that fill the north side of Grand Forks most Friday evenings in the summer months.

I'm sure money would be the main obstacle for such a move. I'm not sure what it would cost to build a speedway, but I'm assuming the biggest expense would be a new grandstand. That wouldn't be cheap. Perhaps the River Cities Speedway could take a cue from other athletic venues (including many racetracks) and consider selling naming rights to the track. I'm sure there would be companies that would be interested in having their name appear on the speedway. Rydell Speedway? Hugo's Speedway? Who knows.

I hope the River Cities Speedway is looking into this move seriously. I think it would be a win-win for all concerned parties. Another possible outcome could be redevelopment of the old fairgrounds. Without anyone really using the property any longer, why not look into selling it to an interested developer(s)? A new commercial development on the property might be just what's needed to turn things around on Gateway Drive.

14 comments:

JGS said...

Interesting. I think this is great news to hear. As you said, this could be a good redevelopment area for businesses and gives the Speedway a chance to build something much bigger, and better.

Assuming this happens, as you said, we can probably expect it once again along Gateway Drive. Although I still like the roaring sound of the race cars. It's not like we are going to stop hearing them if they do move. You can practically hear them if you were at Kings Walk.

Not going to put much more thought into this. I am sure we will hear from WDAZ soon enough. :)

Good Ol' Boy said...

Not a bad idea- there could be a lot of development go along with something like that- eating, drinking establishments, who knows?

Rick said...

I can always hear the cars on Friday nights, and I live in southwest GF.

Conservative Yahoo said...

Someone needs to do a economical impact study of the speedway. It is the only thing in GF that brings people to GF every single weekend (weather permitting, of course) During the Sprint Car Tour special in July there were people here from 5 or 6 different states. They all spend money, too. The races have turned from being a cooler toting, redneck event to a real family event. You need to quit listening to them and go take a look in person. (or maybe you already do?)

Tu-Uyen said...

Hey it's just another sound of summer, just like thunder storms.

GrandForksGuy said...

After the flood, there was a rumor going around that Nascar was looking to enter this part of the country and was considering a speedway west of Grand Forks on Highway 2. Of course, that seems to have been just a rumor...

Anonymous said...

I think you are overlooking something in this. The fair board has a great opportunity at this point to also get NEW fair grounds outside of town. One only has to travel to the fairs in TRF, Fertile, Bemidji, etc. to see that our fair sucks. The Alerus is no place for a "fair". When commerical development started to encroach upon the fairgrounds in Bemidji, the county sold it (the old grounds are where their Target is), and had money to buy some beautiful new grounds and build great commercial and livestock buildings. The Grand Forks fair could do the same and move with the speedway. I found it funny that the fair board was blaming the hot weather on poor attendance this year(isn't the Alerus air conditioned??) while the state fair in Minot had record attendance in the heat...

ec99 said...

I notice "Grand Forks County Fair" has been scuttled in favor of Greater Grand Forks Fair. Anyone know who was responsible for the name change. What does the name change say about what the city feels about the rest of the county?

PartTime said...

When it comes to name changes, who is responsible and what does the city feel about it, it doesn't really matter what we feel, example..........."Grand Cities" instead of "Grand Forks" People voiced their displeasure over it, but that didn't matter, they're using it anyways. OK, I'm starting to run in the other direction with this. Grand Forks County Fair and Greater Grand Forks Fair, you'd think it would be a county board thing, but the fact that "county" was replaced by "greater" tells me otherwise. As for the speedway maybe moving West of the city, if it's true, I think it would be a good thing and that the county fairgrounds should move along with it, if it doesn't and the speedway does move on it's own, you have the Grand Forks County Fairgrounds sitting there on Gateway Drive empty, no speedway or anything going on there.

GrandForksGuy said...

I would personally much rather attend a fair held at a clean event center with a nice big paved parking lot then one held at muddy, dirty, grass fairgrounds on the "wrong side" of town. But then, that's just me. I'm not sure why so many other people think just the opposite...

PartTime said...

GFG, your not sure why so many other people think just the opposite? Well, maybe most people (myself included) feel that the county fair should be held at the county fairgrounds instead of in the Alerus parking lot, sure isn't any county fair atmosphere there. What was the reasoning for the move anyways? was it just a cement vs dirt issue? or was there more to it? It would be nice to see the attendance figures from when the fair was held at the fair grounds vs the Alerus Center parking lot. Question for you gfg........Why do you consider the North end of Grand Forks the "wrong side of town"? Being from the North end (Southender now), I kind of took issue to your comment. Is this another "everything in Grand Forks should be on the South end" thing? Heard/seen that enough over the years.

GrandForksGuy said...

PartTime, don't take too much offense at my calling the northside of Grand Forks the "wrong side of town". Why? Because I live on the "wrong side of town"!

Even though I'm a resident of the northside, I'm more than willing to admit that this part of town qualifies as the "wrong side of town". It's always been that way.

I would also like to point out that holding the fair at the Alerus certainly gives the event much better visibility to say nothing of the ample parking.

PartTime said...

GFG, your right, I shouldn't have gotten so defensive...........sorry bout that!

GrandForksGuy said...

No problem, PartTime! :)