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DATE News (chronologically)
09/19/08
nassprint
ISC to ask NASCAR for a second Cup date at Kansas UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today.  Kansas Speedway officials expect to have two NASCAR Sprint Cup races no later than 2011 after it was announced Friday that the track will be the location of a new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

As part of the proposal by International Speedway Corp., which owns the track, to Wyandotte County (Kan.) leaders and the Kansas Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board, ISC President Lesa France Kennedy said that ISC would petition NASCAR for two Sprint Cup dates if ISC was awarded the casino contract.

The 2009 schedule is set, but the track could get a second Cup date as early as 2010 from NASCAR, which is owned by the France family, including France Kennedy.

ISC did not announce which track it would pull a date from. By NASCAR's structure, the group would need to shift a date from one of its other facilities instead of being awarded an additional race. ISC’s tracks with two Cup dates are Daytona, Auto Club (Calif.), Martinsville, Phoenix, Richmond, Michigan and Talladega. Its tracks with one date are Watkins Glen, Homestead, Chicagoland, Darlington and Kansas.

“Now that we have been given the green light to develop one of the nation’s most unique sports and entertainment projects, we look forward to moving forward with our other announced plans – this includes requesting that NASCAR move a second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race to Kansas Speedway,” Kansas Speedway President Jeff Boerger said in a statement. “I look forward to NASCAR’s premier stock car series racing twice a year in the nation’s heartland by no later than 2011.”

The casino is a joint venture of ISC and The Cordish Co. The 1.5 million square-foot casino, with a cost of approximately $705 million to construct, will include a 300-room luxury hotel, 3,000 slot machines and 140 gaming tables. It will also have 275,000 square feet dedicated to retail, restaurants, convention facilities and an entertainment venue.

The casino will be located outside Turn 2. The development project will also include the construction of a permanent infield road course. The state of Kansas will receive two free trackside billboards to promote tourism and Camping World has committed to bring its annual national RV rally to the track. Scenedaily.com

08/13/08 International Speedway Corp. officials announced Wednesday their intention to ask NASCAR to realign one of ISC's current Sprint Cup Series dates to give at Kansas Speedway two Cup races.

The Cordish Company is building a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Kansas Speedway property. Should the track and The Cordish Company be awarded a casino management contract for Wyandotte County, ISC will then ask for a second Cup race.

"We're very excited about the prospect of a second Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway," Kansas Speedway President Jeff Boerger said in a news release. "A second Sprint Cup race and a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino would be a tremendous benefit to not only Wyandotte County, but to the state of Kansas. An additional race weekend and our Hard Rock property would increase tourism in the area and have a significant economic impact on both Wyandotte County and the state."

Boerger said the track currently has an economic impact of $243 million to the area, with an additional $111 million if a second Cup race is granted.

An ISC spokesman said the company would ask to have a date from another of its tracks moved to Kansas, though he did not say from which track it would be moved. ISC owns 12 tracks, including seven that have two Cup races: California, Daytona, Martinsville, Michigan, Phoenix, Richmond and Talladega. ISC tracks that have one date are Chicagoland, Darlington, Homestead-Miami, Kansas and Watkins Glen.

The development of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is estimated to cost more than $700 million and will include a 300-room hotel, a casino, retail space and restaurants. It is slated to be built outside Turn 2 overlooking the 1.5-mile facility.

"Kansas Speedway not only attracts hundreds of thousands of fans throughout the year but also serves as a catalyst for new development," ISC President Lesa France Kennedy said in a news release. "Many positive changes to the community have occurred since our arrival, and we believe our Hard Rock Hotel & Casino proposal will continue the momentum we started and benefit the taxpayers of Kansas." Scenedaily.com

[Editor's Note: Since the France family runs both NASCAR and ISC (and is hence a monopoly) would they refuse themselves a 2nd date?  Of course not.]

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