Stop The Bulldozers, Chicagoland Speedway Might Not Be Dead

Yesterday we told you about a plan for Chicagoland Speedway to be turned into an industrial park based on documents from the City of Joliet Planning Commission.

Turns out the rumors of Chicagoland’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Hand up, we contributed to those rumors based on the information that was present at the time.

By all accounts, the map graphic certainly showed portions of the track being divided up into different plots of land. It appeared the cause of death of Chicagoland Speedway would be by industrial warehouse.

Turns Out The Track Will Stay

Jerry Jordan at Kickin’ The Tires (click here for his story) called up the City of Joliet this morning and got some clarification on what the public meeting notice was for and what the board will discuss in July. Here is what he found out;

“Yes, the track would remain,” said Michael Schwarz, Joliet’s Director of the city’s Planning Commission told KTT via email. “The proposed sale only involves accessory parking on the east side of the property.

THE TRACK WILL REMAIN. To quote the President “that is yuge news.” The sale and re-zoning only involves the parking lots of the track. When NASCAR signed its deal with the Hillwood Group last year the idea was to redevelop unused parking lots and real estate ISC owned.

“I have attached the staff report which was presented to the Joliet Plan Commission at their meeting on April 16. The staff report provides some background.  At the request of the applicant, the Plan Commission voted to table the subdivision request to their meeting on July 16. Under the proposal, 82.3 acres which is presently an accessory parking area would be sold to Hillwood Investment Properties for future warehouse development. Chicagoland Speedway LLC would own the remaining balance of racetrack property.”

Most racetracks on the schedule have vast amounts of unused land around them. With NASCAR not drawing the number of fans they did in the mid-2000s acres upon acres of parking lots are sitting unused in addition to excess land the track already owned. Taking ISC private saddled NASCAR with a fair amount of debt, selling off property around tracks like this is a smart move.

Big thanks to Jerry for getting on the phone this morning and ringing up the city. It’s good to know Chicagoland hasn’t met its demise yet. The sport has still talked about doing a race around Soldier Field so Chicagoland isn’t out of the water just yet.

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