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MEMPHIS TRACK SALE DELAYED Written by Stan Creekmore

Friday, 07 August 2009

When it comes to Memphis Motorsports Park you can't always believe what you hear. However, you should be able to believe what you read.

Recently circulated rumors have the track closing down in the very near future after a sale to Gulf Coast Entertainment, LLC. With the closing on the deal postponed for the third time – the new date is in September of this year – track staff are already planning next years events.

The rumors may have surfaced following a story in the St. Louis Business Journal on July 30. While the story focused on the reduced second quarter profits generated by Dover Motorsports Inc. facilities, which includes Memphis Motorsports Park.

According to the St. Louis Business Journal:

“Dover reiterated Thursday that the sale of Memphis Motorsports Park to Gulf Coast Entertainment LLC for $10 million in cash and a 2 percent interest in Gulf Coast has been delayed.

Gulf Coast has agreed to purchase all the stock of the Dover subsidiary that owns the Memphis track, with closing under the agreement set for June 29. But Gulf Coast hasn’t finalized its project financing, Dover said in a July 8 regulatory filing, so it is negotiating an amended agreement that would give Gulf Coast until Sept. 29 to close, for additional consideration.”

Gulf Coast Entertainment has not, to date, been able to secure the financing necessary to build a racing facility in Mobile, Alabama and the purchase of Memphis Motorsports Park is directly tied to the financing of the proposed facility in Mobile.

Should Gulf Coast fail to close on the purchase by September 29th, the contract for sale could be terminated or further extended to a later date.

In a phone conversation Thursday, August 6th, with Jason Rittenderry, Vice President and General Manager of Memphis Motorsports Park, it was learned that while the pending sale of the facility to Gulf Coast Entertainment, LLC has not gone as originally planned, events are still being planned for 2010.

Rittenderry said that sale or no sale, the track has a contract with the NHRA for an event in 2010. There is also a contract with O'Reilly's Auto Parts for title sponsorship of the event. Additionally, the track is awaiting an announcement by NASCAR of the 2010 Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series schedules. Rittenderry intimated he expects Memphis Motorsports Park will remain on both schedules with similar dates to this year.

The ADRL has also signed an agreement with the track for an event in 2010. Other drag racing events are in various stages of completion.

The running of any of the events is not contingent upon ownership of the facility.
 

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Fingers crossed for the best. Closing the only 1/4 mile track within 4 hours would be a massive blow to the area.
 
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