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Did Someone Say NASCAR?

April 2nd, 2009 by Steven Gardner

The port and the city of Bremerton had a celebration marking the annexation of SKIA into the city. I didn’t go. Rachel Pritchett was off, so she didn’t go either.

Justine Frederiksen at the Port Orchard Independent went and filed this. Included was a comment from Larry Stokes, port commissioner.

“If I had a comment, it would be, ‘Gentlemen, start you engines,’” he said. “And, hey, let’s get NASCAR back.”

Do we want to start this conversation again?

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25 Responses to “Did Someone Say NASCAR?”

  1. Jake Metcalf Says:

    Considering we are gutting elementary school funding, community health care funding and higher education funding to deal with a 9 billion dollar deficit in Olympia There is no way in hell that there is a dime to finance a Nascar track.

    If the ISC wants to build a NASCAR anywhere in Washington state they are going to have to do it with all the existing laws and with their own money.

    The ISC has burned a lot of bridges in Olympia. They would have to turn to the very same people that they demonized a couple years ago. They would have to be huffing tail pipe fumes to think they could get a dime out of Olympia any time soon.

    On a side note. EA sent me the video game NASCAR Kart Racing for the Wii to review.

  2. Colleen Smidt Says:

    “If the ISC wants to build a NASCAR anywhere in Washington state they are going to have to do it with all the existing laws and with their own money.”

    Yep. And I hope they go for it.

    “They would have to turn to the very same people that they demonized a couple years ago.”

    State Rep. Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor, called ISC “bad corporate citizens.”
    “These people are not the kind of people you want living next door to you,” he said.

    Who really was demonizing here? Larry…..?

    “On a side note. EA sent me the video game NASCAR Kart Racing for the Wii to review.”

    Bring it over. We have a Wii….Let’s Play. We can let Steven be the “Race Official” or the “Race Commentator”. Come on Steven, you have not been delivering on your promise to make fun of Port Orchard. The very least you can do is say “boogity, boogity, boogity”. You really opened yourself up for this with that Kitsap Sun Mattress Ad.

  3. Kyle Alm Says:

    Although it was never politically popular, the NASCAR track would have been a net revenue generator for the state and the local governments.

    No matter how snarky a comeback Metcalf puts up here, it is a fact. Almost everyone with a brain who has actually examined the matter agrees on that point. Read the fiscal note from the bill, it says it all.

    The track is also less intensive of an impact than almost any other use that could be put there because the track would not be an everyday operation.

    None of those facts will matter though. Metcalf is right about one thing, the legislature won’t want to touch it, let alone explain it. They are going to let Clay Bennett keep $35 million because they didn’t bother to get KeyArena done, they were able to build a new arena in Kent for the Thunderbirds hockey team (hypocritical?), I for one am tired of looking to the legislature for philosophy, or even consistency.

    Bottom line is that NASCAR wants to be in this market, they aren’t going away, it’s always going to be on their radar and eventually a deal is going to get done to develop SKIA, and NASCAR is still the best proposal to date.

  4. Jake Metcalf Says:

    Wait a minute. Was this an april fools joke?

  5. mark Says:

    Just imagine if we had entered into an agreement to have NASCAR here. We would now have $168,000,000 invested and no track. Six months before the market took a dive, housing prices tanked and business started trimming employees, Nascar announced they were laying off folks and losing sponsors.
    I have followed Mr. Stokes and have till now been impressed. Please, please rethink this. We dodged the first bullet, let’s not stand in front of this gun a second time.

  6. Kyle Alm Says:

    It also would have meant a lot of construction jobs in Kitsap that wouldn’t have been there before. But I guess that we don’t need jobs on the peninsula.

  7. Joe Mama Says:

    No.

  8. Jake Metcalf Says:

    Colleen you should see the video clip that biased hit piece that national Fox News did on Speaker of the House Frank Chopp. His office got angry obscene rants and insults from all over the “Nascar nation”

    Kyle they wanted the state to pay for all the infrastructure improvements and did not cut the state into merchandising and broadcast right profits. The State Auditor a majority of legislators thought that the state would loose money on it. Do you really think you know more about the states finances than the state audior, and Rep Ross Hunter?

    NASCAR has been loosing views and fans in the past couple years.

    The NASCAR Kart Wii game supports the Mario Kart wheel and it plays like a Mario Kart game but it is COVERED with ads.

  9. Jake Metcalf Says:

    Kyle you should look at the labor statistics. The Governors 2005 transportation budget had given the concrete and asphalt industry banner employment for the past four years.

    Could you imagine the outrage if the state wasted money to create a new goverment agency to build a NASCAR track and we had a projected $9,000,000,000.00 state deficit?

    Isn’t Larry Stokes current term up this year? Can’t wait to vote against him.

  10. Lisa Says:

    Why not just build a giant Mario Kart Wheel track instead!

  11. Colleen Smidt Says:

    Of course it is covered with adds….its NASCAR! I love Mario Kart by the way. Although my 8 year old usually beats me 2 out of 3 times. It must be his shorter arms that move faster.

    Funny…I had people lined up to purchase my (6) Season Tickets for Las Vegas Motor Speedway. We did not go this year because we did the Space Shuttle Launch (Florida)in November 2008. In fact attendence was so good, at LVMS this year, they had to open up more seats that had previously not been available…here….. http://www.lvms.com/media/news/544284.html.

    People were out of line on both sides. They (ISC) do want this market and appear to be willing to pay for it. With the re-unification of IRL and ChampCar, open wheel racing in this country has a real opportunity to challenge NASCAR for dominance. Especially since F1 has pretty much pulled out of the North American Market. My boss is in Malaysia this week for the F1 race. The pics he sent me so far look fantastic. Too bad I could not convince him to make it a company trip.

  12. Jim C. Says:

    Why would any business big or small want to come to Kitsap County or anywhere else Washington? What do we have to offer? Kind of sad.

  13. Wm. Komm Says:

    Please. Please. Please. Please.

    No way, no how, no NASCAR.

    Of all the businesses that could ever come to this side of the water, a NASCAR track makes zero sense. Traffic is already a mess in the summer during peak hours – imagining what the ferry traffic and 16 with the bridges would look like is disheartening. Construction jobs? Those are temporary. Once a track is built, the only jobs created will be slingin’ beer and popcorn. And if NASCAR continues its slide, what happens to that facility if/when they vacate? All of a sudden, it will be our nightmare.

    This is truly a NIMB issue. Nothing personal against NASCAR but no one moved over here in hopes of being a part of a circus like that.

  14. stan Says:

    Kitsap County was stupid to pass this up. What company are they going to get that would produce the revenue for the county that NASCAR would have. If I was going to start up or move a company it certainly wouldn’t be to Kitsap County, Eastern Washington is so much cheaper.

    And what about all the jobs it would have created. First of all the construction of the track and the roads to support it. Then there would be construction of the motels and restaurants to support the NASCAR fans coming from Oregon, Idaho, Montana, BC, etc. Then there would be people needed to work in all these places once they opened. That is alot of jobs.

    Seemed like a no brainer to me. Taxpayer money was spent for Safeco, Qwest Field, and soon possibly Husky Stadium, but why not NASCAR? Even if the econonomy was still in a bad state when the track was open, it still would have packed in the fans. There are ALOT of them.

  15. Brian Says:

    I think every politician should be voted out that was against this in the first place. How stupid are they? Do that not see that the economy is in the toilet. Right now we should be in the process of building a race track and inferstracture. That would have provided plenty of jobs to the local communities. The second bridge already went in, do the people of this area really believe that we are not going to grow out of convience. I say we elect people in office with a vision of the future not ones that dwell on the past. We all lost here when our state said no.

  16. Jake Metcalf Says:

    Every single local incumbent from Kitsap that opposed the corporate pork for NASCAR deal in 2007 and was on the 2008 ballot was re-elected. The people spoke and pork for NASCAR lost in 2004, 2006 and 2008. Also two county commissioners candidates that opposed NASCAR won in 2008

    I really hope Jan Angel proposes a new Pork for NASCAR bill so it would be so much easier to get it laughed out of the legislature. It is much easier to fight Republican sponsored legislation.

    We had this fight. We won, they lost. Let’s move on.

  17. Colleen Smidt Says:

    What fight Jake? If a private company wants to come in, spend their own money and operate within existing laws, what fight is there to that?

    Your tie in and alluding to the fact that one single issue, NASCAR, was solely responsible for every single incumbent re-election in Kitsap County is very weak. For example, I will be working very hard to insure that Mr. Seaquist is not re-elected if he goes for another term. While his gaffes and bungling dealings with the NASCAR issue were laughable and unprofessional at best, it is actually his handling of education issues in this state, especially early learning that has me truly outraged. He has let some opportunities for real change in education operations and funding slip through his fingers and the fingers of those who sit on the Early Learning Committee with him. He has turned his back on us as parents and community taxpaying members. We have less control over the education of our kids in our community schools than ever before. For that I condemn him and want him out.

    Let’s see which legislative members, stick to their snobbish outrage and stereotypes when private money to fund construction jobs, make infrastructure improvements, and provide increased tax revenue in a time of high unemployment and revenue shortfalls gets dangled in front of them. Hmmm… I wonder.

  18. Kyle Alm Says:

    Jacob,

    Thanks for mentioning the 2005 Transportation Budget, I almost forgot about that BECAUSE IT WAS 4 YEARS AGO!!!!

    How many of those transportation jobs are in Kitsap County?

    I may not know more about the budget than Rep. Hunter or even as much as you claim to, but at least I am being honest about what I do know.

    If the state wanted a cut of the broadcast rights they have the authority to tax it. And as far as merchandising goes it is called the sales tax, the state charges it on just about everything.

  19. Kyle Alm Says:

    And didn’t Jan Angel get elected to the legislature after being one of the most outspoken proponents of the ISC/NASCAR proposal?

    Bozeman supports it and will get re-elected. How many Republicans got re-elected in Washington State anyway? Not many. It’s a spurious argument to say that it was because of NASCAR. I get the feeling that Mr. Metcalf is smart enough to know that fact.

    This debate is so dishonest it isn’t even funny. NASCAR wanted a tax credit on sales taxes and the ability to issue public bonds, not exactly a handout. If they were going to ask for a dedicated revenue stream (ie. raising the sales tax) that would be a better argument. Asking that the state dedicate A PORTION of the sales tax to help pay for infrastructure doesn’t seem outrageous.

    Shouldn’t your taxes support infrastructure like roads and waterlines?

    As far as all these people against the bill in the legislature, it’s far too academic for me considering it never got a vote in committee and ISC pulled the plug afterward. It would have been interesting to see what would have happen if ISC wanted to stick it out.

    My best guess is that Frank Chopp wasn’t going to let a democratic majority do anything controversial or look like they were going to do NASCAR and not keep the Sonics. BTW, KeyArena is still an albatross and going to be the center of another fight redesigning Seattle Center and who gets the revenue that was previously dedicated for Qwest and Safeco Fields.

    Wasn’t it the Treasurer who was against this? I don’t recall Brian Sonntag ever coming out publicly against this. Mike Murphy was also the hatchet man to help kill the monorail.

    ISC could have made this an election issue and didn’t, they withdrew the proposal from the Legislature, so how can you even call it a fight?

    No matter what gets built in SKIA people are going to criticize it and infrastructure is going to need to be built and paid for, and it is probably going to be paid by the public to make SKIA a suitable draw for a developer.

    They wasted more money on SEED than they would have spent on the public-private partnership with NASCAR, and now SEED is dead and NASCAR is likely coming back with support from Bozeman whose City now has permitting authority for the site. It’s going to be a Bremerton issue and a state issue when it comes back and it only improves the chances that it passes. I would be surprised if they wanted to come back and try it again, I’m sure they feel burned by the whole experience.

    I understand that perceived problem of NASCAR (I have certainly heard it enough) but they deserved a better evaluation of the proposal. The opponents of the proposal were pretty rude and condescending, and will never give NASCAR a fair evaluation. We all should have acted better and represented Kitsap County and Washington State as fair and open minded, but that is asking a lot.

  20. wkomm Says:

    Maybe no one has noticed but we’re on the downside of the oil culture. I say if Kitsap allows a NASCAR track then they should put a steam engine museum right next to it. Being against this particular idea is NOT anti-job or even anti-NASCAR. I’ll repeat – the construction jobs will be temporary and a large percentage of the salaries will be taken out of the Kitsap area. What’s left will be some burger flipping jobs and even those go away if NASCAR flounders -
    and they’re showing signs of doing just that.

    There are WAY too many things public money needs to go toward rather than a race car track. This whole thing strikes me as just bizzare and I can not understand why anyone would support this monstrosity in any way.

  21. Jake Metcalf Says:

    “What fight Jake? If a private company wants to come in, spend their own money and operate within existing laws, what fight is there to that?”

    Right. If they wanted to do that there would be no real opposition. However this is not what they wanted to do. There is no one stopping them from using their own money and complying with the current laws and building their own stadium.

    “How many of those transportation jobs are in Kitsap County?”

    The same cement and construction unions that slammed the Democrats for questioning the Pork for NASCAR bill have had a pretty good time with all the transportation construction work the governors previous budgets funded.

    The Governor’s 2005 transportation package AKA the Gas Tax is still in effect and building roads all over the state including right here in Kitsap. on Highway 3, Poulsbo you name it.

  22. Kyle Alm Says:

    Jacob,

    They finished construction in Poulsbo already, when are they going to fix the existing bottleneck at Hwy 3 in the Bremerton/Gorst area? How long ago was 2005 again?

    No matter what cars run on, electricity or fossil fuel, people will test and race their creations.

  23. Jake Metcalf Says:

    Oh yeah we need to used public money to create a new goverment agency to build own and operate a nascar track as a part of a public private partnership. And that is how alone how we are going to get off fossil fuel.

    I understand that a minority of people like it but I don’t see why a government elected by a majority should use public funds to run it. It’s never been a part of mainsteam culture in Washington State. Personally I believe NASCAR is completly obsolete and boring I don’t want my goverment in the buisness of running it.

    How about a light rail or cable car system in Kitsap instead? Why not an affordable 4 year college or foot ferries? That would actually have positive economic results and could be used year round.

  24. Colleen Smidt Says:

    Why not an affordable 4 year college or foot ferries?”

    Have you seen what the Governor put out today regarding double digit tuition increases for existing colleges? The same colleges, many of whom rely on and protect sports programs to bring attention and money to their schools.

    “I don’t want my government in the business of running it.”

    We agree, I don’t either. Just look at the mess they are making doing exactly that right now. Every day the list of banks and private companies scrambling to give stimulus and bailout money back to the government grows and grows. It’s rather telling that these banks and companies would rather face crippling debt, financial ruin and or bankruptcy than keep a dime from or relinquish control to our current administration and leadership. They appear to be learning that the government dollar is not worth the devils attached to it. A rather important lesson for all, it seems.

  25. Jake Metcalf Says:

    Yes I have. I fully support the recommendations of the Gates Commission report on taxation and Ron Sim’s 2004 tax reform plan. If he was governor and we passed the reforms we would not have the budget deficit. Sorry Gregoire but the broken recessive tax structure has been choking Washington State for almost 80 years. We need to ditch the sales tax, the B&O tax and more to a progressive income tax for everyone. If we reformed the tax structure in 2004 we would not be in the same deficit mess. Because income based tax structures are much more stable than consumption based taxation.

    These budget cuts are a band aid on a gunshot wound. The entire tax system in this state is broken and needs to be thrown out and re-written.

    I don’t agree with Governor Gregoire and Ross Hunter on every issue.

    My dad is a professor at WSU and my mom is a Highschool teacher. You don’t have to explain me about the chronic underfunding of education. I finally paid off the last of my student loans.

    If this banking crisis was going on in any other nation the US and the IMF would demand that the government nationalize the banks immediately and get some honest people to run the banks again. I am worried at the rate and scope that President Obama is working on the issue.

    The only time that Jesus got angry and violent was when he got the money changers out of the temple.

    Anyway back to NASCAR I can think of 9 Billion things that the state goverment should be more worried about.

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