Latest on a track in Minnesota: Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton says even if a new Minnesota Vikings stadium is not built in Arden Hills, he is still interested in cleaning up the old Army munitions site. So how might the site be developed? Sources tell 5 EYEWITNESS News a $300 million NASCAR motor-sports complex is being discussed. Ramsey County Commissioner Tony Bennett confirms commissioners have had meetings with NASCAR backers. Bennett also says several entities have shown interest in building casinos on the property. Despite all the interest, the county and the Vikings still prefer to build a stadium on the site.(KSTP.com)(1-25-2012)
Latest on Minnesota track project: Two influential City Council members are taking different stances on a 90,000-capacity, $225-million NASCAR-ready racetrack proposed last month for Lino Lakes’ rural northern end. Track developers are currently looking to the council for approval before taking further steps, but they aren’t getting it yet from the mayor. “I’ve been to tracks, and they’re incredibly noisy,” said Mayor Jeff Reinert. “I can’t see residents wanting to hear the roar of race cars in the evening. I just don’t see it for Lino Lakes.” On the other hand, Councilman Dave Roeser has voiced enthusiasm for the project, touting massive tax benefits (city staff estimated $1.9 million per year) and a potential boon in area service industry jobs. “When you’re seeing numbers like this, it’s hard to look away,” Roeser said. To get resident opinions on the track, the first-term councilman is busy distributing a survey. In the meantime, area residents chime in on the plan.
Developers who pitched the project to Lino Lakes last month say noise issues are resolvable. Geographically, the track would be bordered by I-35E to the west, and vast wetlands to the east. “There are a number of modern methods we can use to deal with noise,” said Scott Quick, the project’s director of development. Quick represents International Motorsports Entertainment and Development Corporation (IMEDC), a Minneapolis-based group that has pitched the idea of a Twin Cities motorsports facility for several years. Quick says the Twin Cities market is untapped as the largest metro area without such a facility. Although IMEDC doesn’t have NASCAR’s word to host events at the track, Quick says if his firm builds it, they will come. Even without NASCAR, a future Lino Lakes track could host a variety of events, functioning as a “mecca” for performing arts, trade shows and various conventions, said Roeser, the Lino Lakes councilman.(Quad Community Press)(9-25-2010)
- IMEDC Announcesd coalition to accelerate construction of Motorsports Complex: International Motorsports Entertainment and Development Corporation, IMEDC, is forming a broad based coalition of community leaders to provide the necessary platform to begin construction of its proposed state of the art motorsports facility and commercial mixed use business complex for the Minneapolis and St. Paul area of Minnesota and to accelerate this process to a fast completion. The coalition supporting this project will be comprised of representatives from Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies plus federal, state and local politicians, The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and The Minnesota Department of Tourism as well as the automotive, truck and motorsports industries. This coalition also will include representatives of insurance, hospitality, manufacturing, marketing, advertising, legal and real estate businesses as well as construction and trade unions and many other business entities. The Minneapolis and St. Paul area is one of largest un-served markets and ranks in the top 10 of all the U.S. Markets for major motorsports events. Minnesota is currently home to several corporations already involved with NASCAR, the Indy Racing League (IRL) and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). These corporations include The Target Corp., Best Buy, 3M, General Mills, Northern Tool, Fastenal, Valspar and many others. Even in this current economy, motorsports activities have remained extremely popular and strong, and this well planned facility will bring much needed revenue and jobs to the state of Minnesota, in both the construction phases, and long term jobs after completion. IMEDC has already engaged many interested companies who are already part of this team coalition, but welcomes the addition of many others wanting to join the coalition.(PR Web)(6-23-2009)
- New track proposed in Minnesota: A state-of-the-art motorsports track complex, envisioned to attract the biggest names in racing, is being proposed for 400 acres in the Big Lake area [Minnesota]. The $200 million facility would be built for 90,000 fans and could expand to more than 150,000, said the developer, International Motorsports Entertainment and Development Corp. (IMEDC) of Coon Rapids. The complex would be financed privately from partners IMEDC President Jim Farnum declined to divulge and added that "we're not asking for a dime" of public money. Farnum added that he is hoping to attract funding from Minnesota corporations and expressed confidence that the money will come together. IMEDC released an artist's rendering of the complex Thursday. As conceived, it would have a 5/8-mile high-banked paved oval, a 1-mile flat paved oval, a quarter-mile drag strip, a 3/8-mile oval dirt track and a 100,000-square-foot exhibition and convention center. Government officials in the city of Big Lake and neighboring Big Lake Township said they are aware of the proposal, but no formal presentations have been made and no hearings have been scheduled. Farnum said he expects to go before city and township officials sometime this year. If the financing is secured, bureaucratic requirements are met and races lined up, the facility could have its first full season by 2011, said Farnum, adding that IMEDC was formed in 2006 for the sole purpose of building this complex. As for the land, situated in Big Lake Township about 40 miles northwest of Minneapolis, Farnum said, "I have a purchase agreement for that already."
NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp, while unfamiliar with IMEDC's proposal, said that the nation's largest sanctioning body of stock car racing is always looking for opportunities to run its races in new locations. As an example, Tharp said, the 7/8-mile oval in Newton, Iowa, will get its first NASCAR national touring event in 2009. Tom Ryan, owner of Elko Speedway for the past eight years, said he was approached to buy shares in the IMEDC project and declined.(Star Tribune, see images there or at the IMEDC site - intmotorsport.com)(8-22-2008)
- New Track in Minnesota Planned: Competition for a place on the NASCAR Nextel Cup schedule may be extremely hot but that hasn't deterred the International Motorsports Entertainment and Development Corporation from pressing ahead with plans to build a track in Minnesota. The project is estimated by management of IMEDC to cost $200 million and will include a paved three-quarter mile high-banked oval suitable for NASCAR, ASA, ARCA and IRL style racing as well as a one-quarter mile NHRA style drag strip. Plans also include the incorporation of a major retail development to further add to this soon to be destination location. One of the major market centres of the Midwest, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St.Paul, has a reputation for its strong business climate and economy. With a population of approximately 31 million, it has been ranked by Fortune magazine in the list of top 10 business locales in the nation, and is home to 16 Fortune 500 companies including current NASCAR team sponsors Best Buy, Target, 3M and General Mills. "Our strategy concentrates on expansion and innovation targeting motorsport spectators, sponsors and competitors. We plan to grow operations and increase shareholder value through the development and expansion of a motorsports facility within the Minneapolis-St Paul Market," said Jim Farnum, IMEDC CEO, "Our goal is to create a first-class complex for the state and local community of which all Minnesotans can be proud."(Crash.net)(3-13-2007)
- "Big plans are under way for construction of a NASCAR and Indy-car race track in Otsego, Minn., about 30 miles northwest of the Twin Cities near Elk River, Rogers, Monticello and Albertville, where there is an abundance of rural land. Interstate 94 would need infrastructure work to handle traffic to the track, which would seat at least 80,000 and as many as 120,000. If political hurdles are cleared and financing is approved, the 1 1/2-mile track could be in place within two years, with three to five big-time races a likelihood every summer"(Pioneer Planet)(8-8-1997)