So the other day, my dad mentioned how excited I must be about Jeff Gordon attaching his name to a proposal to turn old Cooper Stadium into a racetrack. Which first led me to question why my dad reads my local newspaper and I don’t, and then me going to said newspaper’s website to read the story. And I think that it could be a great thing, especially with the attachment of Jeff. Look at Iowa Speedway and their involvement with Rusty Wallace. That is the reason they have races out there now. If Jeff is attached to it and Columbus is the home of Nationwide, there is a good chance that at some point after completion NASCAR could look at the site as a potential venue for the Camping World or Nationwide series . And they would actually spend money in the city, unlike the Casino.
And there is already a lot of naysayers. Take this for example, seems to sum up a majority: “I would much rather have a sports stadium there for a professional basketball or football team than a race track. Race tracks are extremely loud and in general dirty. People need to keep in mind they are not bringing nascar in, but stock cars which will draw a much smaller crowd. Give me a sports team any day of the week over that after all Columbus is the capital of Ohio, but we don’t have professional basketball, football, or baseball. How has this happened?”
-Racetracks are only loud when there is a race. They don’t race every day, all night long. John Bickford, the president of Jeff Gordon Inc proposes 16-20 races a year. And most areas where the track is in town have noise curfews, where they can’t race after a certain time. I’m sure it would be the same with this.
-Dirty? Explain how it would be more dirty than Ohio Stadium/tailgating? Not talking about a dirt track. This would be paved.
-NASCAR=National Association of STOCK CAR Auto Racing. So all NASCAR is stock cars but not all stock cars are NASCAR. Just felt like this needed to be stated. And see my above point about Nationwide
-Columbus has 2 professional teams. The reason we don’t have baseball/football is because the state can not support another team. Also, the only difference between OSU football and pro football is…that OSU is college. Brings in the same or MORE people than Pro football, and honestly I don’t think that Columbus could support having football on Saturday and Sunday. And just because Columbus is the capital of Ohio doesn’t mean we get sports teams. Detroit isn’t the capital of Michigan, Chicago isn’t the capital of Illinois, etc.
I love the idea of including a hotel/conference center and especially a technical school. And the fact that the venue could be used for more than just stock car/sprint cars works really well too.
Anyways the moral of the story is that I really want this to happen so I have the possiblity of someday working in auto racing and stay in Columbus, a city I truly love. They are always talking about the brain drain and how do we keep students in Ohio…well, this is how they would keep me!