Bolling takes a victory lap on Martinsville NASCAR race
Did Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling save NASCAR? Well, maybe just a little.
Virginia was in jeopardy of losing the Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. State officials say that would have led to the loss of $75 million in revenue each year, 1,000 jobs and millions in state and local taxes.
But Bolling (R), along with state and local officials, announced Thursday that International Speedway Corp. is committing to two NASCAR Sprint Cup races annually at Martinsville Speedway for at least the next five years.
"This is an important announcement," Bolling said. "Because the truth is that we came very close to losing one of our Sprint Cup races at Martinsville earlier this year, and losing that race would have had a significant adverse impact on the economy of Martinsville and Southern Virginia."
As part of the agreement, the Tobacco Commission awarded Martinsville Speedway a grant of $1.5 million, which it will match for a $3 million upgrade to the facility. Other improvements include: A new on/off ramp on U.S. 58 adjacent to the speedway, which will improve traffic flow on race weekends and a new nation-wide marketing campaign.
A recent independent economic analysis determined that Martinsville's two NASCAR races support 2,824 jobs, provide a $170 million economic impact and generate $13.2 million in state and local tax revenue.
August 26, 2010; 5:50 PM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling
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