Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports columns

February 12, 2013

de la Bastide: Indiana should help IMS

Indianapolis Motor Speedway generates big tourist revenue for the state

— For almost a century the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been the biggest draw in terms of tourism dollars in Indiana. Now it is requesting some public assistance to enhance that impact.

IMS officials are hoping the Indiana General Assembly will pass legislation creating a motorsports investment district to help offset a projected $100 million investment to the facility.

The investment district would capture the state sales and income taxes, projected at $5 million per year, to help pay off bonds to install lights around the 2.5 mile oval, upgrade video screens, improved seating and compliance with federal disabled accessibility requirements.

With the state providing $5 million per year, IMS would still provide $2 million of the funding on an annual basis.

IMS has never sought funding or tax breaks from Indiana or the city of Indianapolis, always paying its own way. The other sports entity in the state capital not to ask for tax dollars is the Indianapolis Indians baseball club, which footed the cost for Victory Field.

Over the years, the legislature has provided funding for new venues for the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers and improvements to the Indiana Convention Center and the Colts’ practice facility.

Those funds are filtered through the Capital Improvement board to the tune of $16 million per year.

Should IMS receive approval from the legislature, it will continue to pay property taxes to Marion County and the city of Speedway, I’m quite sure it’s a healthy sum.

The Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly reported in 2011 that the IMS and the Indianapolis 500 contributed more than $727 million to the state’s economy. Purdue University estimated the Indianapolis 500 brings in $336 million to the state’s economy while the home games of the Indianapolis Colts generates $104 million.

Lighting the 2.5-mile IMS oval can only draw more fans to Indianapolis — fans who will spend money on food, entertainment, lodging and fuel.

With lights, the Brickyard 400, scheduled during the hottest time of the year in August, could become a night race. That alone would probably attract more people to the event.

It would also make possible a longer duration sports car race, something in the range of 12 hours on the IMS road course.

I’m hopeful lawmakers will determine the long term benefits of supporting the IMS request for funding assistance.

In other racing news

Izod IndyCar officials recently announced the 22 teams that will be a part of the 2013 Leaders Circle Program, which provides incentives to teams that run the complete schedule. Each team is assured a minimum of $1 million, if they make the field for the Indianapolis 500.

Sarah Fisher Racing, HVM Racing and Dragon Racing were added to the program on options to fill out the program.

Since then Andretti Autosport announced a fourth full-time team with E.J. Viso as the driver. Viso will join Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and James Hinchcliffe.

Simon Pagenaud will be driving full-time for Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports in 2013.

Ken de la Bastide may be reached at ken.delabastide@kokomotribune.com or 765-454-8580.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Kokomo Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports columns
  • State Briefs Instructor, student pilot hurt in crash GREENWOOD (AP) -- A flight instructor whose plane crashed while he was giving a lesson has told police the craft had engine problems. Police say 65-year-old Dennis Rumley of Greenwood and 38-year-old student pi

    March 19, 2014

  • de la Bastide, Ken mug ID de la Bastide: Young stars shine in Georgia For the past few years I have had the privilege of watching two up and coming stars in the super late model ranks that are going to make noise in NASCAR. The two drivers scored victories this past weekend at the Champion Racing Association's annual S

    January 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • de la Bastide: IndyCar silly season is heating up

    The start of silly season for 2014 has started in the Izod IndyCar Series with just a handful of races remaining.

    August 14, 2013

  • Emmons, Rohlfing select colleges Preston Emmons enjoyed a breakout season as the catcher on Kokomo's baseball team. He drew college interest at just the right time, and will join Wildkats teammate Eli Grimes at Goshen College, where he will continue his career on the diamond with th

    June 13, 2013

  • Hibbert.jpg GASKINS: Hibbert’s block was thing of beauty

    For the better part of the NBA season, ESPN devoted all kinds of time on SportsCenter episodes to replays of two dunks. Anyone who watches any ESPN at all surely knows the two to which I’m referring: 6-foot-11 DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers posterizing 6-3 Brandon Knight of the Detroit Pistons, and 6-8 LeBron James of the Miami Heat hammering home a dunk over 6-2 Jason Terry of the Boston Celtics.
    Day after day, ESPN commentators lavished endless praise, which quickly grew tiresome. The dunks were strong, but Jordan and James were much taller and heavier than Knight and Terry and the dunkers also caught perfect alley-oop passes with the defenders in poor positions to defend. Still, ESPN commentators loved these plays.
    I kept wondering if a great defensive play would receive the same kind of love.

    May 21, 2013 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT042413 - Art for Bowman.jpg Gas City I-69 Speedway has big show in store

    Weather permitting, the local racing action will kick off this weekend as the Gas City I-69 Speedway will play host to the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series on Friday night.
    Last week’s scheduled opener for the bullring in Grant County fell victim to the heavy rains that besieged large portions of central Indiana.

    April 24, 2013 1 Photo

  • Frederickson.jpg BOWMAN: Frederickson ready for his 20th year of racing

    As hard as it is to believe, when Kokomo’s Jamie Frederickson rolls onto a race track in the coming days, it will mark his 20th year of toiling in a non-wing sprint car.
    Entering this season, Frederickson has high hopes as a result of the previous 19 years honing his craft and bettering his equipment.
    “This year is pretty much like I am every year,” said Frederickson. “My main goal is that I would really like to pick up a feature win at some time this year. I don’t care where it’s at and how I do it, I just want to win a feature before this year is over.”

    April 19, 2013 1 Photo

  • Indiana’s Crean simply fails to inspire confidence

    Survive and advance?
    More like, struggle and aggravate.
    Such is the frustrating reality for Indiana University men’s basketball fans this season. Blessed with roster talent rivaled only by Hoosier teams of lore, coach Tom Crean stumbles his way through game plans, matchups and adjustments; the outcome is occasionally brilliant, but largely inconsistent and underachieving.
     

    March 28, 2013

  • GASKINS: Schultes' deaths hit hard

    Like many others, I am walking around with a pit in my stomach following the senseless deaths of Dennis and Judy Schulte earlier this week in Seattle. The retired Kokomo couple was walking with their daughter-in-law, Karina Schulte, and her 10-day-old son when they were slammed into by a suspected drunk driver.
    Dennis had deep roots in Western athletics. He was a longtime assistant coach in football and wrestling and later the head coach in wrestling. In addition, he was a rock-solid teacher in the math department. Judy worked in education at Northwestern.

    March 28, 2013

  • Hoban had zeal for Tigers

    While Merrill Hoban put his signature on Howard County basketball during a 12-year reign as coach at Northwestern High School, it was his influence and lasting relationships with players, students, colleagues, friends and family that will be remembered most fondly. Hoban, 91, was a teacher at Northwestern for 31 years. He died Wednesday at St. Joseph Hospital.


     

    March 25, 2013

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller