Milwaukee Mile may have to be plowed under UPDATE Despite the latest setback in signing a new race promoter, racing at the Milwaukee Mile in 2010 remains a possibility, a NASCAR spokesman said Wednesday.
After a three-month process, Historic Mile LLC informed State Fair Park on Tuesday that it could not secure the financing necessary and would withdraw as the prospective promoter.
Almost immediately, park management turned its attention to a group led by Frank Giuffre, a former promoter, and his brother, Dominic. That group was rejected in August, when the park board of directors instead chose to sign a letter of intent with Historic Mile.
The racetrack is on the agenda of a fair board meeting Friday.
"We're in touch with the fair board, and Milwaukee is a very important market to us and we're considering every option available," said Ramsey Poston, managing director of corporate communications for NASCAR.
Poston refused to place a timeline on the decision-making process. Throughout its discussions with NASCAR, Historic Mile faced deadlines that were extended numerous times. NASCAR has scheduled Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series races for June 18-19.
The Giuffres ran the track from 1985-'91 and had negotiated for promotion rights again before the 2006 season.
Although Frank Giuffre has been critical of the board's selection process, he has maintained interest and has produced letters of credit from local banks for $10 million each.
"We're just excited about reviving racing in Milwaukee. We hope to conclude negotiations on Friday," Giuffre said.
Giuffre said his investor group includes billionaire John Menard; John Kaishian, longtime owner of the old Hales Corners Speedway; and the Decker family, owner-operators of the World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River.
Poston said NASCAR had no feelings, positive or negative, about the Giuffre group.
Giuffre said his group would repay vendors who have not been paid for past races at the racetrack. He said he planned to continue discussions with NASCAR about the debt owed the sanctioning body for 2009. JSOnline
11/04/09 For several months, the principals at Historic Mile LLC told the Wisconsin State Fair Park board they were confident they could get the necessary funding to satisfy NASCAR and promote races next summer at the Milwaukee Mile.
The money never showed up. And on Tuesday night, Historic Mile told State Fair officials they were throwing in the towel.
The decision by Tony Machi, a former judge, and his business partner, Jim Beaudoin, raises new concerns about the future of the historic racetrack. The Fair board is now expected to begin negotiating with Frank and Dominic Giuffre, brothers and businessmen who promoted auto races at the track from 1983-'91.
Machi said Tuesday that he was unable to reach agreement with NASCAR. NASCAR has scheduled Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series races for next June 18-19 but wanted Machi to pay sanction fees left unpaid from last summer's races, as well as the fees for the two races in 2010.
Machi said he had funding for the 2010 races but could not come up with funds to pay NASCAR for the unpaid 2009 fees.
The Fair board had been relying on NASCAR to vet Machi's proposal. When Machi could not reach agreement with NASCAR, Machi said he had no choice but to step away.
Asked if he misled State Fair officials, Machi said no. "Maybe my mistake was making commitments before I had the money in hand," Machi said. "In our mind our investors let us down."
Added Machi: "State Fair knew we needed investors from Day One. We never misled them." JSOnline.com
[Editor's Note: As famous as it is, and as sad as it is, maybe it is time they plow the Milwaukee Mile under and build Townhouses on the property. The track has had money issues for years. Face it, any race promoter loses at the famous Mile their shirt.]