IMS seeks state help for $70M in upgrades

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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway says it is supporting a proposal in the General Assembly creating an Indiana Motorsports Investment District that would capture state sales, income and corporate taxes for future investment in the Speedway.

State Senator Michael Young (R-Speedway) is expected to introduce a bill Monday creating the district, which would include the Speedway and surrounding commercial property.

The IMS said approval would pave the way for at least $70 million in capital improvements. Potential projects include installing lights for night events at the 2.5-mile oval; adding high-definition video boards, LED scoring and information boards; technology upgrades designed to increase fan communication; and renovations to stands.

 “IMS is an enormous, 100-year-old facility. In addition to the many annual projects to maintain it, we need to make the Speedway more flexible, more modern and better positioned to attract more fans to IMS and Indiana,” Jeff Belskus, IMS’ CEO, said in a statement.

The push marks a departure for the IMS, which historically has not asked for public subsidies, even as the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers won large government financing packages for new stadiums.

The Indiana Motorsports Association said in a statement that the financial help would strengthen the state’s tourism and hospitality industries and overall economy.

“It is clear motorsports plays an important role in the success of the Indiana economy, and there is no place in the world better identified with our industry than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” Executive Director Tom Weisenbach said in a statement.


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