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Charlotte Area News

Negotiations of Incentive Package for Speedway Stall

Concord City officials say they've made no new progress in a proposal to pay Lowe's Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith millions of dollars in incentives. The money was meant to make road improvements near the speedway. Now city officials say they're looking for a "Plan B." The 60-million dollar incentive package was first offered to appease Speedway owner Bruton Smith when he threatened to build a new dragstrip elsewhere. But when Concord and Cabarrus County offered to pay the money over 40 years, Smith balked. He wanted it in 3 years. In the months since then, Concord Mayor Scott Padgett says negotiations have stalled. "The public, unfortunately is confused about that and still think there is a deal and we're sending the Speedway money every month, or something," says Padgett. "And that is completely not true. There has been no money allocated or sent to Speedway Motorsports Incorporated." With those negotiations on hold, Padgett says the City of Concord is looking for another way to make major road improvements that Speedway Motorsports was expected to make under the incentives deal. Congestion and safety are major concerns around Lowe's Motor Speedway. Padgett says Concord may borrow money to get the improvements underway and then hope for some reimbursement from the state down the road.