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DATE News (chronologically)
10/02/07
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Bruton threatens City Council to leave Concord  This WSOC Charlotte article says -- Bruton Smith, owner of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., said Tuesday that if Concord does not work with him on a controversial drag strip, he’ll take Lowe’s Motor Speedway somewhere else.

Smith told Eyewitness News he is already looking for plots of land in the Charlotte area. He said he’ll close Lowe’s and build a new speedway and his own airport so that race car drivers will easily be able to fly in and out of town.

Concord doesn’t look like it’s going to be a place for him to grow, he said, so if city leaders don’t change their minds, he will take his business and go. Smith said he’s dumbfounded that the Concord City Council voted against a proposed drag strip near the speedway on Monday night, effectively changing the area’s zoning rules. Workers had already started grading the land to make way for the strip.

Dozens of residents showed up at the city council meeting to protest the strip so close to their homes. Others argued the economic benefits of such a motorsports attraction.

Smith will have to take the city to court in order for the decision to be reversed. He wants Concord to undo an annexation, which made the speedway, and the land around it that had been zoned for motorsports, part of the city limits.

“Either they go, or we go,” he said. Eyewitness News contacted the mayor of Concord and told him what Smith had to say. He said he had no comment. Smith is estimated by Forbes to be worth more than $1.4 billion.
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