The deal is off for a NASCAR racetrack just south of Arlington Municipal Airport (AWO) in the state of Washington. Many local pilots and AOPA had expressed concerns about building the 75,000-seat stadium in the approach/departure zone for Runway 16/34.
"Whether a football stadium, basketball arena, or racetrack was slated for the site, it's bad public policy to allow large gatherings of people near the end of a runway at an active airport," said Roger Cohen, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "That's why both FAA and Washington state guidelines would have precluded locating the racetrack near AWO, and why AOPA and our AWO Airport Support Network volunteer advocated so strongly against that location."
But it was economics that ultimately killed the deal. The city of Marysville wanted International Speedway Corp. to either pay more of the estimated $250 million construction tab or guarantee that a big-time racing series would come to the track. Both sides decided the costs were too high.
December 2, 2004