Seems guest bloggers are all the rage these days, and since it was actually pointed out to me at Indy, to my FACE, that my blog is a little cobwebby these days,(“I started following you when you actually updated”)(ouch!) I got myself a cabana boy. Oh, no wait, that’s something else…. I asked my friend and colleague Andrew Bussa for his thoughts on this historic venue and some “man on the street” insight this weekend to gauge the success/failure of the return of the Mile. He is actually there shooting for us (OWW) this weekend, and having been there many times over the years, I figured he could provide some insight that I myself having never been there couldn’t based on well, NOT being. LOL
So with out further ado, I give you Andrew’s first guest blog:
IndyCar is heading back to Wisconsin, home to more Indy style races than Indiana and the oldest speedway in existence, the Milwaukee Mile. Opened in 1903, the Mile took a year off last season because of differences between the track owners, the State of Wisconsin as represented by State Fair Park, and operators.
The root cause of instability at the Mile was the new grandstands installed in 2002. NASCAR was pressuring all tracks to improve facilities or risk the loss of dates. Milwaukee added new grandstands, media center, and made other site improvements. The cost of these was never recovered and attendance slipped after the new features were added, partially because the track lost some charm and the larger decline in race attendance seen in the US.
The cost of these improvements was put on the operators and they were never able to make money on running the track. Last year State Fair Park could not find anyone to operate the track and top level racing was suspended.
This year, the track is being rented for the IndyCar weekend.. State Fair Park does not seem interested in the long term survival of the Mile and sees it as a valuable plot of land that can be put to other uses.. Since they are a part of government, they move slowly; this may be the only thing keeping the Mile open. The Mile is a great track that produces fun racing. The atmosphere is outstanding and it grabs a good Chicago crowd. It won’t be around for ever, because once State Fare Park can close it, they will. Enjoy the weekend’s events!
There ya go! And not an F-bomb in sight! I’m looking forward to hearing from Andrew over the weekend and of course seeing his pics! (which you will be able to check out over here )