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  • Supervisors approve bid requirements for proposed Southern Arizona Raceway

    Aug 06, 2013 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday, Aug. 6, to approve and release a Lease Auction Bid Package for construction and operation of a new multi-use raceway on 400 acres near Pima County Fairgrounds within the Southeast Regional Park.

    Pima County owns the property south of the fairgrounds at 11900 S. Harrison Road, which it will lease for at least $137,700 a year for at least 25 years to the entity that successfully bids to build and operate a Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile Grade Two multi-use automotive raceway.

    No tax dollars will be used on the project.

    The bid package requires an initial capital investment of at least $15 million from a raceway developer or operator that has been in business for at least five years.

    The approximately three-mile race course must be designed to host open wheel racing, sports car racing and motorcycle racing including IndyCar, Historic and Classic Car Racing, Sports Car Club of America, American Motorcycle Association, Pirelli World Challenge or National Auto Sports Association. It must also accommodate corporate and government test programs, driving schools and public entertainment events.

    Four racetracks or motorsports attractions now operate near the fairgrounds: Tucson Speedway at Tucson Raceway Park, Merle’s SIR Dragway, Musselman Honda P1 Kart Circuit, and M.C. Motorsports Park at PMP.

    The bid package requires the successful bidder to integrate noise abatement techniques into the design and operation of the facility.

    Richard “Andy” Anderson, a motorsports designer and project manager who lives in Pima County, encouraged the Board to approve the bid package.

    The course “will create one-of-a-kind events three, four, five times a year,” he said.

    It will attract international tourists. “We’d be the closest racing venue to Mexico, he said. Such a project, Anderson said, will bring “hundreds of millions of dollars” into the local economy.

    It will also provide opportunities to the University of Arizona and others for additional scientific research. Most of the development of fuel and vehicle technology happens on racetracks, Anderson said.