Archive for Wednesday, March 22, 2000

Kansas Speedway on track for spring 2001 opening

March 22, 2000

At the Kansas Speedway, located near the intersection of Interstate 435 and Interstate 70 in Kansas City, Kan., everything's on track.

"We're right on schedule and things are going well," said Stann Tate public relations director. "We have people working around the clock, and progress is being made on a daily basis."

Included in the construction process is the earth-moving work. About 11 million cubic yards of dirt, or the equivalent of a million dump truck loads of dirt, are being moved.

The 1.5-mile tri-oval racetrack is expected to be in business in the spring of 2001 and will seat 75,000 people.

"There is a lot of enthusiasm in the community," Tate said. "People are very excited about the project, and it's going to be a wonderful new addition to the Wyandotte County community as well as the state of Kansas."

Basehor mayor John Pfannenstiel said he anticipates that the proximity of Kansas Speedway will impact Basehor's economy.

"I think it's going to provide us with an increased opportunity for commercial development," Pfannenstiel said. "I don't think it will have a dramatic impact on residential development."

What influence the racetrack has in regard to residential development may have already happened, Pfannenstiel said.

"I think the most impact on housing from Kansas Speedway is from the people who lived where it is now located and have relocated here," he said.

Possible businesses that may be interested in setting up locations on U.S. 24-40 Highway south of Basehor might include motels, restaurants and businesses that are more directly related to racetrack activities, Pfannenstiel said.

When the speedway opens, it will employ from 45 to 65 people on a full-time basis, Tate said. And during the races, the number of part-time employees is estimated at from 2,000 to 3,000.

Further statistics from Kansas Speedway predict that 95 percent of those who attend races will be from outside of Wyandotte County, and 70 percent of the attendees will be from outside of Kansas.

While the first phase of the construction will result in seating for 75,000, upon completion of the final phase, the grandstands will seat 150,000. Parking spaces will be included for 65,000 vehicles, and there will be a parking area for recreational vehicles, as well. Included in the track's economic impact statistics is the prediction that construction will add nearly $200 million to the economy.

And the races themselves are expected to generate some fast enthusiasm for their fans, with the anticipated qualifying speed for Winston Cup Cars set at 175 mph to 185 mph.

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