Governor Beshear wants to help put Kentucky on the fast track to land a NASCAR Sprint Cup Race. The governor Tuesday threw his support behind a bill that could make that a reality.
With a race car conspicuously parked right outside the Capitol, Governor Beshear listed some of the many reasons why the popularity of NASCAR makes it worthwhile for the state to get behind an expansion of Kentucky Speedway in the form of tax credits.
He says, "NASCAR holds 17 of the top 20 highest attended sporting events in the United States. NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 150 countries and in more than 30 languages. That, my friends, is a big deal."
A venue could qualify for this new category of legacy projects if it has at least 65,000 seats and if its main event is broadcast nationally.
Bruton Smith, Chairman and CEO of Speedway Motor sports, Inc., owner of Kentucky Speedway, says he's willing to spend $70 million to a major expansion of the Northern Kentucky track including at least 50,000 more seats.
And from the state's point of view, it's a no risk proposition.
Governor Beshear points out, "The tax credits will be performance based so that should the expansion not occur and should not major additional investments be made, then obviously the tax credits would not be available."