If lighting approved, NASCAR night races possible by 2015
Indianapolis, IN, United States (4E Sports) – NASCAR’s Sprint Cup race may be made a Saturday night event if Indianapolis provides $100 million capital improvements on the track that includes lighting.
A bill for funding the upgrade of the 103-year-old Indianapolis Motor Speedway was scheduled to be introduced Monday by Sen. Michael Young.
The plan is to annually collect up to $5 million taxes generated in IMS’s area of business to help fund improvements.
If it becomes a law, IMS chief operating officer and vice president of communications Doug Boles said it likely wouldn’t be until 2014 before any projects began.
IMS is seeking to modernize the grandstands and install new video boards. Lighting is not an integral part of the final project, says Boles. Also, With typically harsh winters in Indiana and preparation for the Indianapolis 500 in May, he said that getting lights in time for the July 2014 Cup race “might be a stretch.”
He added that much of the seating is aluminum, which absorbs heat. Excessive heat for the Sunday afternoon NASCAR Sprint Cup event, the Brickyard 400, heldin late July, has contributed to declining attendance.Estimated attendance has dropped from 280,0000 in 2006 to 125,000 in 2012.
The project is expected to cost between $70 million and $100 million.
Boles said that moving the Indianapolis 500 to a night event is not part of the plan.