Progress in New York, but not for F1

The Staten Island Advance newspaper is reporting that the International Speedway Corporation has signed a deal to buy more than 600 acres on New York's Staten Island and is beginning the process to get clearance for the construction of an 80,000-seat raceway, which would be located in the shadow of the Goethals Bridge, which linked Staten Island to the New Jersey shoreline. The property is made up of two parcels of land, the first belonging to the GATX Corp. which operated an oil storage facility until 1998 and the other which once housed a natural gas facility until an explosion in 1973 which killed a number of workers. There is no word on how much is being paid. The intention is to use the facility to bring NASCAR to the New York area although parking is likely to be a problem unless more land can be found nearby. The whole process of developing a circuit is likely to be a lengthy one with public hearings and environmental surveys likely before the facility can be built. The newspaper said that the track would host three big events a year but did not give details. The obvious races would be Nextel Cup events and an IRL race. The stories however are suggesting that the track would only be a short oval and so there is no possibility if this is confirmed for there to be an infield road track for Formula 1. There are other events which can be held at such a facility between the big race meetings with exhibitions and other big functions but there are still a lot of questions that must be asked before the project goes ahead. The plans will mean a change in the zoning status of the area.

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