Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, September 25, 2021

qualifyingGotta throw some shine on my paycheck source, Florida Trend, this month, because of Mike Vogel’s cover story on International Speedway Corp.’s push to take NASCAR into Seattle and New York City — the final frontiers for stock car racing.

How bad does ISC want a track built on Staten Island? In exchange for entry into the number one media market — and the sponsorship gravy that flows from that — it’s willing to turn the big-league sports stadium game upside-down by paying its own way, and then some:

If the company can get into New York, says [William Blair & Co. analyst Bob] Simonson, “there will be a halo effect that will be phenomenal.” An example: Sponsors entertaining customers and clients at a Cup race in the rural South might well have to lodge their guests in a moderate hotel chain a long bus ride from the race. In New York, the sponsors could lock up rooms at the Waldorf, host a dinner at a fine restaurant and treat their guests to the race and other New York amenities. NASCAR and International Speedway also hope New York will bring new business sectors, such as financial services, into the sponsorship fold.

One measure of the company’s hunger for New York is that it isn’t asking for special government financing, just approval. The potential payoff to the sport and the $100-million land cost have made winning over [New York City Councilman James] Oddo and his constituents imperative. Aside from lobbyists and other experts, [ISC president Lesa] France Kennedy has hired Gameday Management Group, an Orlando company that engineers moving people in and out of events like the Olympics, to devise a way to get most of the fans to Staten Island without their cars. The plan depends on requiring 80% of spectators, when purchasing tickets, to commit to coming to the race by bus or ferry.

Not that the oft-suffering borough is playing along — yet:

“Deeply flawed,” Oddo says of the traffic plan. “The world hasn’t seen that many people moved by small boats since Dunkirk.” He says two other council members representing Staten Island are just as skeptical, and he can’t envision the project being approved over the objections of the local representatives. Says Oddo: “If this is the final plan, it’s dead on arrival.”

Regardless, France Kennedy is optimistic that gearheads will be New York stylin’ by 2010.

Of course, just getting a track built among the bright lights of the big city won’t guarantee market acceptance. Remember the lack of sufficient Windy City buzz for this year’s Chicagoland race, which NASCAR brass took as a shortcoming in getting ingrained into the national sports scene. But it’s better to have a place at the table and therefore a chance, rather than being absent.

There’s lots of supplemental information in the article, including ISC’s revenue breakdown comparison between 2000 and 2004 (TV revenues doubled in that time, from $164.3 million to $334.9 million) and how the broadcast money gets divvied up between ISC, NASCAR, non-ISC tracks and the race teams/drivers.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 09/25/2005 10:07:09 PM
Category: Other Sports, SportsBiz | Permalink |

Trackback this entry: Right-click and copy link
1 Feedback »
  1. The final frontier

    At population statistic there’s a bit on ISC’s desperation to break into the New York market. You know, with that little track they wanna build over on the West Shore.

    Trackback by Topical Island — 09/26/2005 @ 02:08:42 PM

RSS feed for feedback on this post.

Leave a comment

PLEASE NOTE: Various types of comment moderation may be triggered once you hit the "Say It!" button below. Common causes for this are the inclusion of several hyperlinks and/or spam words in the comment field. Please do not hit the "Say It!" button more than once. If you feel your comment is being blocked without cause, feel free to email me about it.