Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

September 30, 2008

Responsible Urban Renewal

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:22 pm

Meanderings for a slow Tuesday:


Several are going to be attempting testing at IMS today. If you are in the area you cannot beat the price (free). Watching Indy Cars at IMS in October is pretty nice. If it rains, the museum is always the best value in motor sports. The tenderloins are probably better right now because they make them to order when there are not hundreds of thousands of others milling about.


There is word that Bruton Smith, the cantankerous octogenarian who buys tracks then makes high banked cookie cuts out of them, is going to bulldoze much of the Kentucky Speedway to make it more to his liking. I like Bruton but I hope he doesn’t screw that track up too. The sport needs much of what Bruton brings, but over time race tracks MUST be unique. Each much have its own character, and Kentucky was developing its own. Kentucky is a great little track as it is. I hope he never owns IMS. God only knows what would happen to it.


Continuous refinement of facilities has always been a hallmark at IMS, and the next few years will be interesting. Much of the area that grew up around the track is now a decrepit barrio. Eagledale was once a charming blue collar area with well kept factory built homes. It is in desperate need of gentrification at the moment. 16th Street and environs back toward Indy is not safe during many hours of the day and use of the word ‘ghetto’ to describe that area might be a compliment. There is also a general Speedway downtown redevelopment in progress that will hopefully spur urban renewal in a wider circle around the greatest race course in the world. Right now driving folks in who have never been there before is kind of embarrassing.


I am really looking forward to the Centennial Era.


1 Comment »

  1. I work in and around Speedway almost every day. It’s not the nicest area of town, but I don’t think it is nearly as bad as you describe. People who live in Speedway are geneally lifers and are very comfortable there. Maybe I’m just used to it.

    I think you are right though that the area could be be in for a major renewal if the Town of Speedway’s plans come to fruition. Downtown Indy has changed alot over the past 20 years due to gentrification spurred on by the city’s reinvestment in downtown (Circle Center, Conseco, Lucas Oil, New Library, Victory Field, White River, NCAA HQ etc). The point is if you spend enough money people will start building condos and fixing up older homes etc. I also agree that the Speedway could be a much bigger tourist attraction if there were additional restaurants, shops and destinations nearby. When people come to Indy they don’t generally head to Speedway unless that is the specific reason for their visit.

    Comment by Demond Sanders — September 30, 2008 @ 10:27 pm | Reply

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