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IMS CEO makes big moves, wins state aid

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Mark Miles became CEO of Hulman & Co. in December 2012, and he wasted no time making big changes to Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series.

In February, Miles made his first major break with Speedway tradition. On behalf of the IMS, Miles requested public funding assistance to make major upgrades to the 104-year-old landmark. It was the first time the Speedway sought government funding.

Gov. Mike Pence in May signed a bill authorizing the state to loan the speedway $100 million to make track improvements.

The loan will be paid back using increased sales and income paid at the track and with a $1 per admission tax for events. Lawmakers estimate those will generate about $5 million per year. In addition, the legislation requires the Speedway to contribute $2 million per year to help pay for upgrades at the facility.

Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, an author of the bill, said he thought the improvements would draw more people and increase tax income from the facility. That additional income, he said, would be used to retire bonds used to pay for the track.

Miles spent much of 2013 overhauling the staffs of the IMS and IndyCar Series. He made several hires, including naming racing veteran Derrick Walker to oversee IndyCar competition.

In December, Speedway officials announced a list of improvement projects, including repaving and reconfiguring the Speedway’s road course, a new scoring pylon and video screens, and an apron on the inside of the oval designed to improve NASCAR racing.

The IMS decided against spending $20 million to install lights, saying the return on investment wouldn’t be big enough.

The improvements to the facility’s road course will be key in hosting the first IndyCar road race at the Speedway. Miles announced in September that the month of May will kick off with a 200-mile IndyCar road race. The inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis will be held May 10.
 

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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