In motorsports, does 1+1=3?

February 28, 2008
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Does Gov. Mitch Daniels’ anointing of auto racing industry veteran Rollie Helmling as the state’s motorsports development director--or the unification of the Indy Racing League and Champ Car--create more motorsports business opportunities here? While state officials say yes, others in the industry aren’t as optimistic.

After all, most of the Champ Car teams are already located here, as are many of the suppliers who deal strictly with open-wheel racing in general and Champ Car in particular. Those businesses that deal with open-wheel and stock car racing that vacated Indiana for Charlotte during the last decade, probably aren’t coming back, at least not any time soon, said Mel Poole, a former CART front office worker who now operates a North Carolina-based motorsports sponsorship consultancy.

Motorsports experts think Indianapolis will reap a benefit, but it will take time. “If the Indy Racing League was a stock, I would issue a long-term buy,” Poole said.

Those in Daniels’ inner circle said Helmling, the former United States Auto Club boss and Tony George ally, has the credentials to maximize the benefit.

Do you think Helmling’s appointment will be the engine that drive’s Indiana’s motorsports growth?
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  • What did Rollie do for USAC? Not much, if you ask me.
  • I believe with Rollie joining IEDC he will be able to make available to all of the other local open wheel teams, and business that support the racing industry, other than the IRL, help they need to grow there respective business with some well needed economic incentives. Most people in the Motorsports Industry have no idea what economic incentives are available from either the State or City of Indianapolis.
  • He just about ran USAC into the ground. How anyone thought he could help the state is beyond me. If anything they needed to get someone with knowledge of the NHRA on board. That segment of the industry is ripe for large growth.

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  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

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