Race City vs. landfill

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Will podiums soon be a thing of the past for Calgary? Photo: Steve Thornton

Calgary’s Race City Motorsport Park has a tenuous ally in its fight for existence. Ward 12 Ald. Shane Keating has organized a task force to study options for building a new motorsport complex in the Calgary area. 

The existing Race City facility is on a property leased from the city that is adjacent to a landfill site. The lease expires at the end of 2011.

Due to growth of the dump, the city claims the space occupied by the track is needed to provide adequate storm water management. In addition, part of the property is targeted for a future connector road.

“A city the size of Calgary that does not have a motorsports facility is lacking,” said Keating, speaking to the Calgary Herald. That may sound promising, but Keating stopped short of offering a viable solution, also saying that it is too early to discuss using city funds to build in another location.

A task force meeting is planned for Jan. 27, with local organizations invited. It will not be open to the public.

1 COMMENT

  1. Just build a hockey rink in the middle of it and the politicians will be climbing over each other to implement another hockey venue!!

  2. Don’t get your panties in a knot…be glad we get to vote for the least bad, and it isn’t a dictatorship…and as for Canadian politicians being a joke…don’t fool yourself, they are all a joke…politics is just a crap shoot…

    We all understand that there aren’t enough of us “motorheads” that attend the tracks to justify a political decision…they have to equate the cost to public perception of safety (get the street racing to the track)

    Later.

  3. Following the path of least resistance means upsetting the least number of people, in other words keeping the biggest number of votes in your pocket as possible.
    Doing what is right never ever factors in.
    This is why Canada’s polititians are seen as a f!@#ing joke all over the world.

  4. Hey madjak,

    The lease was actually first set to expire at the end of 2009, but has been extended twice. This puts the track owners in a difficult spot, as they don’t want to invest any money in repairs with the city constantly threatening to boot them out.

    As for a new facility, I’ll be absolutely stunned if it actually happens. The cost has been pegged at $20-40 million, the bulk of which would have to come from various levels of government. I just don’t see any politicians at any level being willing to sign off on something that costly these days. Race tracks aren’t particularly fashionable, and nobody wants one in their backyard, so there simply isn’t enough political capital to be gained.

    Even the Calabogie track near Ottawa barely got built, and that was all private money.

    It is a sad state of affairs when a garbage dump is more important than an existing race facility. It amazes me that it’s seen as better to close the track than open a new dump elsewhere. I guess dumps are like tracks in that nobody wants to live near one, so the city is simply following the path of least resistance…

    Graham

  5. The lease actually expired in 2010 and they had to fight to get it extended for the 2011 season…there is a big concern that if the motorsports park goes away that the racing will take to the streets…they should look to bedroom communities for a new location…Crossfield, AB is only 20mins north of the city and it isn’t experiencing the growth that Calgary is…build on the other side of the Queen Elizabeth Hwy and it should be safe for atleast 20yrs…you would think for the safety factor alone it would be worth it for the province to pitch in with all the surrounding communities…but hey, what do I know…

    Later.

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