Closing Bell

NASCAR could continue Coliseum experiment

By Adam Stern

NASCAR Senior VP/Strategy & Innovation Ben Kennedy said he is leaning toward keeping the L.A. Coliseum as a venue on the sport’s schedule over the next couple years, though a decision will not be made until after the inaugural event is held Feb. 6. NASCAR is holding this year’s Busch Light Clash on a temporary paved short track in the middle of the football stadium as an experiment, and Kennedy said preparations -- including building the circuit itself -- have been smooth and are now in the final stages. The project is costing NASCAR slightly over $1M and the circuit is just about ready for racing aside from putting up sponsor signage and some other final touches. Without sharing specifics, Kennedy said that the attendance goal for the race is to "have what will look like a full bowl," and that based on current sales, "it would look like a really good crowd even if we had the race tomorrow." NASCAR has said that if this goes well, it could copy the idea at other venues not just domestically but also potentially internationally.

Kennedy told SBJ months ago that he is already working on the ’23 schedule, and when asked Thursday whether NASCAR leadership is already committed to building a temporary short track again next year, he said: “We’ll wait till after February 6th -- obviously there’s a lot of innovations around that weekend so we’d like to get through it to see how it performs and based off that, make a decision as to whether or not we continue with an event like this whether at L.A. Coliseum or potentially other locations. But as of today, I don’t want to speak for the rest of the folks (in NASCAR’s leadership), but I know me and some others are leaning toward trying to keep L.A. Coliseum somewhere on the schedule over the next year or two.” There has been chatter that NASCAR could eye a similar event at MetLife Stadium.

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