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Gateway sale rumors

Discussion in 'Midwest - USA (NE, KS, OK, MO, AR)' started by Andog, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. Andog

    Andog Karting

    Jul 17, 2011
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    Andy S
    More schuttlebutt on the ongoing saga of a sale of Gateway. Rumor is two current suitors per below... Anyone hear anything about the potential STL area buyer? Randy you hear anything? They have Chris Pook back into the mix assisting with the potential sale.....



    Confirmed with a source close to both Johnny Gray and the people involved in trying to sell the property and infrastructure of the former Gateway International Raceway that Gray has, indeed, made a serious offer for the track located in Madison, Ill. The offer includes paying off past taxes and debts and even future taxes. Gray said he would spend the necessary money to upgrade the track and keep it running.

    There is another bidder for the track from the St. Louis area, reportedly a lawyer with an interest in opening and maintaining the facility’s road course for SCCA and other road racing series.
     
  2. GuyIncognito

    GuyIncognito Six Time F1 World Champ
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    Jun 30, 2007
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    I've heard various rumors about various drag racers wanting to keep the strip alive, but haven't heard what (if any) plans they have for the oval/road course. I also don't see how the strip alone would cash flow to make this work, (unless they only bought the strip and had the tax bill pro-rated) but we shall see.

    most of those rumors involved "The Shiek" and Al-Anabi racing, and/or ADRL (based in O'Fallon); this is the first I've heard Johnny Gray's name mentioned.

    no clue on the lawyer who would want the road course.
     
  3. Andog

    Andog Karting

    Jul 17, 2011
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    Southern Illinois
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    Andy S
    Googled Johnny Gray, he and family sold there oil business( New Mexico) in 2010 for $1.65 billion.....
     
  4. GuyIncognito

    GuyIncognito Six Time F1 World Champ
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    so he's got the cash; does he have the desire to buy a racetrack a thousand miles from home? I guess we shall see....
     
  5. Andog

    Andog Karting

    Jul 17, 2011
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    Andy S
    Didnt mention, he has been racing NHRA for many years and have to believe the NHRA event and drag racing side of the world would be the attraction.. Who knows.
     
  6. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Veteran
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    Oct 16, 2007
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    Doug and JJ looked at Gateway when it originally closed.

    Can't see any buyer wanting to take on the place without a major restructuring of the debt and tax liabilities (past and into the future) so it could be financially viable; no matter how big their bank account is.

    Remember there being some discussion back when it shut down that the facility had limited control of the area to generate concession monies.

    Jeff
     
  7. GuyIncognito

    GuyIncognito Six Time F1 World Champ
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    yeah, but racing and track ownership are two different ballgames. you have to have very deep pockets to absorb a track during the down time, or in a bad economy, or when you need to repave it at $2mm/mile.

    Jeff-in addition to a crushing tax liability, most of the land the track is on is not owned by the track, but leased by various entities (some private, some business, some gov't owned); it's a gigantic cluster.

    my guess, it will end up being eminent domained and turned into a distribution terminal for a trucking company or retailer like WMT or Dollar General, unless a rich hobbyist wants to "rescue" it.
     
  8. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Veteran
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    If a rich hobbyist were to be interested as a semi-private place they could certainly pick a better location.

    Jeff
     
  9. GuyIncognito

    GuyIncognito Six Time F1 World Champ
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    what? sandwiched between a metal refinery, a dump, and one of America's most violent cities isn't your idea of a nice place to spend time?

    ;) :p
     
  10. Andog

    Andog Karting

    Jul 17, 2011
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    Southern Illinois
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    Andy S
    A group of investors have secured a one year lease on Gateway...from STLToday.com this morning.

    Former professional race-car driver and St. Louis area land developer Curtis Francois is part of a group of investors that will lease Gateway International Raceway for one year.
    The agreement, which is set to be formally announced today, will allow the Madison facility to come alive again — for at least one year with the return of the National Hot Rod Association.
    The NHRA Midwest Nationals will take place on Oct. 5-7, 2012, and will be part of the "Countdown to the Championship." It will be the fourth of the six-race "Countdown," which will crown champions in the four professional categories — Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle.
    The group might not wait until October 2012, though, to get going — it might try to hold limited racing at Gateway this fall.
    "We are currently working with state and local governments to put together a redevelopment plan that will allow us to purchase the facility and lay a firm financial foundation for the track," Francois said. "We've received incredible interest and support from the racing industry, state and local officials, local businesses and racing fans. We are very excited about the jobs this investment can create and the overall economic impact it can have on the region."
    Francois, 47 of St. Louis County, is a former professional racer who has driven in the (NASCAR) Grand-Am (Rolex Sports Car Series), Indy Racing League (Firestone Indy Lites), Sports Car Club of America and International Motor Sports Association.
    He has been a residential and commercial real estate developer since 1998, concentrating primarily on the developments in the Metro East area.
    "In order to be a part of the 2012 season, we had to move quickly and negotiate a lease for the facility," Francois said. "We are excited to reach an agreement with the NHRA. This event is very important for the future viability of the track and illustrates the interest the industry has in revitalizing this wonderful entertainment venue. We look forward to a long partnership with the NHRA."
    NHRA president Tom Compton is ready to return.
    "We never wanted to leave Gateway," Compton said in a phone interview. "We're thrilled to be coming back. St. Louis is a great market. The group has been terrific to work with and they are good for Gateway."
    Francois met with Compton and other NHRA officials over the weekend at the just-completed U.S. Nationals in Claremont, Ind. It was there where Francois finalized the return of drag racing to the St. Louis area.
    The NHRA did not race at Gateway this season after Dover Motorsports Inc. closed the track in November 2010. Dover had been leasing the track since 1998. In March of this year, the Delaware company terminated its leases with three of the four majority owners.
    Dover also owned 18 acres and relinquished that property to the lease owners in March.
    What is unclear is whether the NASCAR Nationwide Series will return in 2012, although the prospects don't seem bright. The Nationwide and truck series schedules have not been finalized.
    "All NASCAR sanctions are handled on a year-to-year basis and we will continue to evaluate potential race markets for all NASCAR series," a spokesman said.
    In 2010, when Dover announced it would not seek 2011 dates for Gateway, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations Steve O'Donnell said it probably would be hard for Gateway to get back on NASCAR's radar.
    "It's fairly challenging to get back on the schedule," he said at the time. "NASCAR is not in the business of pulling dates from someone. So once someone opts out, we fill those venues with what we feel like are going to do a good job and have done a good job. Once that schedule is full, it's quite difficult to get back on there."


    Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/motor-sports/article_bc37b8d0-be43-5b30-8668-f8cc8c18edc0.html#ixzz1XMqQQ3Wp
     
  11. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Veteran
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    Andy, you know this group? Set to have an involvment?

    Jeff
     
  12. Andog

    Andog Karting

    Jul 17, 2011
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    Southern Illinois
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    No I dont Jeff..... Attempting to make contact this morning... Going to drive up in a few minutes and snoop around...
     
  13. GuyIncognito

    GuyIncognito Six Time F1 World Champ
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    interesting news. I knew Curtis years ago, good guy, car guy; surprised I hadn't heard his name before.

    One year lease; option to buy?

    I assume the drag strip will be open for amateur stuff, weekly drags, etc?

    also, no mention of the oval or road course other than the NASCAR mention (I would fall over dead if NASCAR came back to gateway). I really hope a deal can be done for the various DE's, club races, etc
     
  14. fat cab

    fat cab Formula Junior

    May 20, 2006
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    tim c
    they had a Midnight madness last Friday night according to some people on facebook,so i guess it is up and running
     
  15. GuyIncognito

    GuyIncognito Six Time F1 World Champ
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    interesting
     

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