Nascar track backers promise community involvement |

Nascar track backers promise community involvement

DENVER ” Backers of a proposed NASCAR superspeedway in Colorado say they’ll take it slow as they court two Front Range locations for a track that could one day host stock car racing’s top-tier tour.

Officials from the International Speedway Corp., owners of Daytona’s famed international speedway, are eyeing locations in the Denver suburbs of Commerce City and Aurora.

The company last week announced its desire to move into Colorado with a track that would seat at least 75,000 spectators. The company says it may seek up to $150 million in public money to help build the facility.

But taking a lesson from a failed bid to build on New York’s Staten Island, company officials this time say they are dedicated to communicating with the public and building bridges to the local government and residents.

“We are ready to communicate, take the time, discuss the options and consider the needs of the community,” ISC managing Director Kathy Milthorpe told the Denver Post.

Already, there’s a hint of opposition to one site, near Aurora.

“I’ve gone to different tracks in Michigan, Phoenix and Texas, and you can see that the impact of the track is tremendous,” Larry Miller, former mayor of Watkins, a community near Aurora.

At the other proposed site, in Commerce City north of Interstate 70, Mayor Sean Ford said residents would be allowed to vote in the issue before a track is built.

“If a formal proposal comes forth, everything will be decided in a public process,” he said.

That, said Milthorpe, is fine.

“We’re looking for a place where the community wants the asset,” she said.

ISC owns or operates 13 racetracks, including Daytona, home of NASCAR’s Daytona 500, scheduled this weekend. Its other holdings include an 82,000-seat facility in Kansas City, Kan., and a 76,000-seat facility in Phoenix.

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