Given International Speedway's
Fool contributor Mark Mahorney recently explained that the racing facilities owner continues to churn out solid results, which is not surprising considering it plays host to several increasingly popular NASCAR events. The problem, though, is how to keep growth going. The company, with an interest in 12 facilities, is a victim of its own success because attendance is reaching capacity and it can only squeeze so much more from food, beverage, and merchandising sales. It's a problem all track owners, including Speedway Motorsports
Expansion, then, is critical, and International Speedway is setting its sights on the Big Apple. The firm reportedly hopes to build an 80,000-seat facility on Staten Island on the site of a former oil tank farm owned by GATX
The New York Times noted Sunday that despite the impressive effort, International Speedway faces a number of challenges, not the least of which are environmental. Still, the company is likely to pull out all the stops to make the deal happen, since it's not just its future that is at stake. International Speedway is run by the France family, which also happens to dominate NASCAR's board of directors. A track in the New York City area would of course generate tremendous revenue for the publicly traded outfit. More importantly, though, a venue in New York City could help make the Northeast, a highly lucrative market, more of a stronghold for the sport. NASCAR has signaled that it is determined to expand its sway well beyond its Southeast roots, and considering its success so far, betting against International Speedway's plans in New York City may be a mistake.
Fool contributor Brian Gorman is a freelance writer in Chicago. He does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.