Nascar looking at New York for street race

Stock car racing series also exploring similar events in Denver and Portland.
  • Dependent on performance of inaugural street race in Chicago
  • Chicago event could cost between US$15-25m

Nascar is looking at the possibility of numerous US cities, including New York, Denver and Portland, staging street races if its inaugural Chicago event with that format in 2023 proves successful.

New York is said to be of most interest, but cities in the West and Northwest, like Denver and Portland, are also being looked at. Nascar already runs an event in Portland as part of its Xfinity Series.

The US stock car racing series is beginning to branch out of its traditional events, with next season including Chicago as well as a race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

While the latter is set to cost millions, the Chicago street race will be “exponentially” more expensive, Ben Kennedy, Nascar’s senior vice president of racing development and strategy, told Sports Business Journal (SBJ).

It has been estimated that Nascar will need to invest between US$15 million and US$25 million next year to set up the event.

While the lucrative TV rights deal, which pays out US$820 million annually between current domestic broadcast partners, Comcast-owned NBC Sports and Disney-owned Fox Sports, gives the series flexibility to take risks, it remains to be seen whether this is a financially sound move.

“Synonymous with a lot of things that [Nascar president] Steve Phelps has said over the last couple of years, we’re going to be bold and innovative as we think about a number of things,” Kennedy said.

“You’ve seen it with the Next Gen car, some of the things in the digital space, content space, fan experience space and scheduling as well, to really set ourselves up for the future.”

Kennedy also confirmed that Jim France, chief executive and chairman of Nascar, has “been on board and really supportive” of ideas like the Los Angeles and Chicago events, highlighting the stock car racing series' willingness to innovate.

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