Pima County eyeing new racetrack

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Pima County has started the process of taking bids for a new racing experience at the fairgrounds.

It's the vision of some people in the county's tourism industry to bring big-name racing to the Tucson area.

Just what kind of track, who would operate it and what the leasing agreement would be, are still up in the air but are privately being discussed.

The county supervisors met in executive session this morning to discuss the possibility of a new race track at the fairgrounds.

"There's a lot of aspects that need to be hammered out," says District 4 County Supervisor Ray Carroll. "It's a possibility I think we should continue to explore."

After the closed-door hearing, the supervisors voted unanimously to have staff put together a bid package.

"Motor sports are becoming more and more popular," he said. "Especially in the Sun Belt to provide racing year round."

The county says it not prepared to go public with the details until next month.

There are four tracks at the fairgrounds now, including the 3/8-mile Tucson Speedway which was recently upgraded.

Tucson News Now has learned that the proposed track would not replace any of the tracks at the fairgrounds, but would be added to what is already there.

Only a little information is dribbling out now however the first meeting on the proposal will be sometime in early July.

Part of it will hinge on how much response the county gets to its bid proposal but we've been told there has already been some interest.

Privately one person said it would be a "different kind of racing, not duplicating what's there."

What kind of cars would race on the track and how big it will be are still in private talks.

One tourism official said "it's a dream but it's worth exploring," he told News 13 but was not authorized to say more.

He did say it would not by an RFP process but a lease. How that will work, must still be negotiated.

"Let's look at it," Carroll said. "Bring it on."

Tucson News Now's Bud Foster will have more on Tucson News Now at 5 p.m. He can be followed on Twitter at @BudFoster.

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