Saturday, July 14, 2012

Showdown in San Angelo: New Land Based Version?

San Angelo's City Council will consider leasing 100 acres in its Industrial Park to Lucas Oil for $1 a year.  The July 17 agenda states:

Consideration and possible action regarding a recommendation by the COSADC Board to approve leasing approximately 100 acres of Phase 2 of the Industrial Park to Lucas Oil at a lease rate of $1.00 per year, for a period of five (5) years, requiring Lucas Oil to hold a minimum of one (1) race per year on the leased land, releasing the deed restrictions limiting the use of the land for industrial park purposes only, to allow use of the land for off road racing, authorizing the City Manager or his designated representative to negotiate and execute said lease agreement and any other matters in connection there to
Lucas Oil conducts the annual Lake Nasworthy Boat Races, known as Showdown in San Angelo. The agenda packet showed:

At its meeting of April 11, 2012 the COSADC Board approved leasing up to 100 acres of phase 2 of the Industrial Park for use by Lucas Oil as an Off Road race track. In order for this to occur, an existing deed restriction imposed by Council at the time the property was conveyed to COSADC must be revised to eliminate the restriction that the property can only be used as an industrial park.
I'd heard rumors the city wanted to use Twin Buttes for off road racing, but didn't put much stock in those.

The City has been approached by Lucas Oil as a possible venue for one or more races per year in their off road racing series. They require approximately 100 acres to create the race course, parking area, fan area etc. COSADC staff was approached by City staff to investigate the possibility of utilizing a portion of the Industrial Park for this purpose. In researching the records it was discovered that the original deed to the Park included a provision that “the property shall be used for an industrial park and no other purpose.” There was also a concern that due to the fact that Phase 1 of the Industrial Park was constructed using a grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) that this might in some way impact that grant. Staff contacted the EDA regional office and verified that use of Phase 2 property would not impact the Phase 1 grant.
The 2012 Lucas Off Road Racing Series season schedule runs March 31 thru October 28. There are currently seven venues, with 8 race events of 2 days duration each. Current race locations are as follows:
Firebird Raceway, Chandler, AZ
Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park, Lake Elsinore, CA
Speedworld Off Road Park, Surprise, AZ
Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, UT
Glenn Helen Raceway, San Bernardino, CA
Wild West Motorsports Park, Sparks, NV
Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, NV
The types of Racing typically include :
Trucks-Pro 4 Unlimited, Pro 2 Unlimited, Pro Lite Unlimited, & Super Lite
Buggies – Pro Unlimited & Limited
Karts – Modified, JR2 &JR1
Lucas anticipates holding one race per year in San Angelo, possibly as a single day of racing as opposed to the normal two day race weekend. They also anticipate needing to subsidize drivers to get them here at least in the beginning. The anticipated draw is similar to the Boat Races. Lucas has visited San Angelo during the rodeo and likes the reception given to visitors and competitors as well as the way Boat Race drivers are treated here.
Given the mention of subsidy, this next item warrants examination

Financial impact:
To be determined
Surely Lucas Oil had an idea of how much it would cost to launch an inaugural off road race in San Angelo.  The question is how much the City will kick in between its various economic development arms?  A search of Lucas Oil on COSADC's website produced no results

Other Information/Recommendation:
Staff recommends approval

Might off road be the future of San Angelo?  It makes sense in light of the city's deteriorating streets.

1 comment:

Jim Turner said...

Makes sense to have races out at the industrial park. Not like they will disturb the massive amount of businesses that are there. Might even do some motorcycle road racing as they spent lots of money putting in roads for buildings and businesses that aren't there.

This use actually has more economic possibilities than most of the proposals I've seen for that unused bit of dirt. Might actually be a net economic gain. Would be a welcome change.