In a letter posted on the Race City website, Rome Awde General Manager of Calgary International Speedway Inc. (CIS) announced his company will be suspending all racing operations at Race City. CIS is the operating company for Race City since 2005 when it stepped in to save the track from closure.
We regret to inform that at 1:00pm Tuesday Sept 9th, 2008, all racing operations by Calgary International Speedway Inc., the operating company for Race City, are suspended until further notice. All scheduled racing events for the remainder of the 2008 season have been canceled.
We would like to thank all our Volunteers, Staff, Fans, Sanctioning Bodies, Sponsors and Racers who have supported us through the last three years of operation. CIS set out to save racing in Calgary after the announced closure of Race City in 2005. Unfortunately, the rainy weather and lack of major sponsorship support and low spectator counts to pay for the racing events that have been held at Race City over the last few years has left us with no choice but to cancel all racing and shut down operations.
All rental operations under Speedway Track Rentals Inc. are still in effect.
Race City Inc. will resume with business operations for the remainder of 2008 and beyond. Art MacKenzie of Race City Inc. is in the process of deciding what racing events and rentals will be held at the facility for the 2009 season. Please see www.racecity.com or call 403-272-7223, for further information.
Calgary International Speedway Inc.
All track rentals for the remainder of the year will continue as originally scheduled so if you’ve signed up for any driving schools, or lapping days they will still go on unless you are told otherwise. The events that are cancelled are the ones run by CIS such as the Friday Night Secret Street drag racing.
The city announced earlier this year that it would not be renewing the lease for the land that Race City is located on that expires October 29, 2009. It has also not shown any interest to help relocate the racing facility and the track would likely have been closed by next year. It was a valiant effort by Rome Awde and CIS to try to save the track but unless some sponsors with a lot of cash step up to help fund a new facility, there will likely be no legal venue for racing next year.
To say that we are dissapointed is a huge understatement. For the six years that Beyond.ca has been in operation we have been advocating taking street racing to the track with our “Keep it on the Track” campaign. Secret Streets, a street legal drag racing event put on by Race City every Friday allowed car enthusiasts from Calgary and the surrounding area to enjoy their sport in a safe (and legal) environment. With the cancellation of all events for the remainder of the year and most likely next year with no plans in place for a replacement facility, the streets are going to be dangerous place in 2009 and beyond.
With no racing facilities nearby, even strict laws designed to curb street racing and extra enforcement of these laws will do nothing to control the inevitable. The lack of a proper and legal racing facility will make it difficult for those discouraging street racing, including us. There is one sliver of hope in all of this. City Alderman Ric McIver has asked the city to look for additional land on the city’s outskirts that it could lease to Race City. There is no word yet on the outcome of that request. There is also an online petition urging the Calgary City Council to consider making the relocation of Race City a priority. There are currently 8,059 signatures.
Please sign the petition, and/or leave a comment by responding to this post. I would like to forward the link to this post to Ald. Ric McIver as well, so here’s your chance to let the City of Calgary know that we need a local track whether it is Race City or a new track run by a new group of people.
*update 9/12: Race City has announced Secret Street will continue for the remainder of the 2008 season: Secret Street Announcement