There are no current plans for one, but officials in the Aurora, Colo., are hoping a ballot initiative in November will be the first step toward the construction of an auto racing facility in the city of about 350,000 residents.
According to Westword.com, ballot measure 2J asks voters if they want the city council to have the ability to provide “appropriate and reasonable economic incentives” to motor-sports facilities.
The city currently doesn’t have that ability due to a section of the city’s charter that was added in 1999 barring it from subsidizing any motorized-sports facility. The measure passed with 54 percent of the vote with support from a group funded by the owner of Pikes Peak International Raceway that convinced voters a proposed track by the International Speedway Corporation would bring traffic and noise issues.
Ironically, Pikes Peak would immediately be closed by ISC when it purchased the track five years later. It was sold to private investors in 2008 and reopened on the condition it wouldn’t host events that attracted more than 10,000 attendees.
The current measure is backed by the campaign “Yes on 2J” and admitted car enthusiast Sally Mounier, a 77-year-old Aurora City Councilwoman.
“Is the city charter a place to discriminate against an industry?” Mounier asked. “I don’t think so.”
The measure is also favored by city mayor Steve Hogan. Hogan spoke at a “Yes on 2J” rally in support of the measure last week, saying a racetrack would be “a place where people can go to enjoy themselves — not just for a day, but for a week.”
Mounier says the Aurora has the land, water and “willingness” to build the track despite not having any current outside interest in building a track.
“A developer hasn’t come forward and said, ‘I want to build this,’” Mounier said. “We’re not doing this because somebody is waiting in the wings. We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do.”