International Speedway Corp. wants to build a NASCAR
oval in Washington, and for the state to pay for half of the estimated $368m cost. The proposal is getting mixed reviews at the state capitol. There are locals opposed to the setting up an attraction for "hordes of out-of-state race fans," and politicians who argue that "state-funded debt should never be used to pay for private projects."
Ok by me.
Then there is Lt. Governor Brad Owen, who apparently referred to the state's investment in the track as "the best economic-development opportunity he has seen during his 30 years in state politics."
Governor Owen should tour Darlington, S.C., which has a famous racetrack that's played host to "hordes of out-of-state race fans" for decades. You do need labor to pick up beer cans when the hordes leave for the next town. But the idea that racetracks are a meaningful tool for "economic development" is balderdash, plain and simple.