Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
Kentucky Speedway Approved for State Incentives to Bring NASCAR Sprint Cup Race
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority today approved incentives for the Kentucky Speedway, which is scheduled to hold a NASCAR Sprint Cup race on July 9, 2011.
The approval means that the Speedway will be eligible for up to $20.5 million in performance-based rebates over a 10-year period, based on an investment of $82 million. The incentive allows the applicant to recover up to 25 percent of development cost through the recovery of sales tax generated at the racetrack. Based upon the conclusions of an independent consultant analysis performed as required by statute, this development will generate state tax revenue in excess of the incentive being provided.
“This NASCAR event at the Kentucky Speedway is estimated to have an annual $150 million economic impact on Kentucky – great news at any time, but especially during our current economic recession,” Beshear said. “The legislation I pushed for and signed was critical to making this event happen, and I am looking forward to race fans across the country visiting Kentucky for this exciting race.”
In 2009, Gov. Beshear proposed legislation amending the Kentucky Tourism Development Act to help attract a Sprint Cup race to Kentucky. The legislation added a new eligible category of so-called “legacy expansion” projects that include events in the top league, series or sanctioned level of their type of event, provide permanent seating for 65,000 spectators and be broadcast nationally. In order to apply the venue must have previously been approved for incentives and the expansion project must exceed $30 million and present one or more “premier events” not previously held in Kentucky. The Kentucky Speedway was among the first projects approved under the Kentucky Tourism Development Act that provides tax incentives to new or expanding businesses.
The authority also gave preliminary approval to Ark Encounter, LLC for a proposed $172.5 million theme park in Grant County. As is required with every project preliminarily approved, an independent consultant will now perform an analysis to see if the applicant meets the requirements of the statute including the requirement for the project to have a positive fiscal impact on state revenues.
The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority works with the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet to implement the provisions of the Tourism Development Act.