Glazer: The Myth That NASCAR is Good for KC

The much ballyhooed phenomenon known as NASCAR is highly overrated …

Especially as far as Legends/Village West in KCK is concerned. Other then filling up the hotels, to say it doesn’t do much for local biz would be a gross understatment.

In fact I’ll let you in on a secret: It sucks butt for all the restaurants,shops and stores in Legends.

Number one, most Kansas Citians think the area is packed and parking is gone. Not true it’s wide open because there’s nobody out here. KC thinks, “Oh my God, the traffic to get there and back will be off the chain!”
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30 Responses to Glazer: The Myth That NASCAR is Good for KC

  1. Anonymous says:

    Orphan of the Road
    You confuse the Indy cars with Formula 1. Only thing they have in common is open-wheel cars.

    NASCAR is the professional wrestling of motor sports.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’ll agree with Craig on most of this one. It’s hard getting to Legends on a race day because The Dotte Police have the traffic grid around the Speedway district all screwed up. You can’t get anywhere.

    But Nascar races are similar to Chiefs gamedays in the fact that the people that go, go to tailgate and watch the race. A few may do the restaurants, but when you’ve got folks preparing to tailgate most of the day, do they spend half the day at the retail district? No!

    If you want to see the economic impact, do the convenience stores, grocery stores, liquor stores, hotels….places where people need to go for the essentials.

    For Chiefs games, it’s remarkably similar. Look for who sells the essentials…food, gas, lodging, drink.

    People aren’t going to leave their camper and walk to your comedy club on the night before a Sprint Cup race that starts at 12 Noon. Ancillary events like car shows and other exhibitions that utilize the Speedway will have a far greater tourism/economic benefit….as will the casino.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Actually saw quite a few race folks in Westport this weekend. But, since they didn’t go to Kelley’s – it doesn’t really count.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Markus Aurelius
    No offense, but confusing Formula One and IRL might be an alternative explanation as to why you only sold 3 copies of your racing movie.

    As to the economic impact for the KC metro you have to look beyond the retail sales at The Legends. The Speedway doesn’t exist to support The Legends and The Legends doesn’t exist because of the Speedway. Sure there is some crossover but neither was intended to be reliant upon the other. No one expects race fans to head over to NFM and pick up a nice chair and ottoman between the Nationwide race and the NASCAR event. As far as restaurants out there, let’s talk some facts instead of ridiculous hyperbole. CG – “the highways are empty” Really? Empty? That’s interesting. I flew right over the speedway on a SW flight coming back from Vegas while the Nationwide race was running on Saturday and I saw cars all over the highway, as well as in the parking lots. I guess it just depends on your definition of “empty.” CG – “ALL THESE NASCAR FANS ONLY GO TO THE RACE” All? Only? This statement ought to just be laughed off as a complete joke; however, since you had the wherewithal to put it in ALL CAPS, as if doing so actually makes the untrue true, someone has to point out that your statement is obviously not true. Plenty of race fans eat and drink out at the Legends the weekend of the race and many of them also head into KC to the Plaza, KC Live, or elsewhere. Maybe not as many as one of your bar/restaurant buddies would like, but that doesn’t mean the event is bad for KC as a whole. Oh, and I’ll let you in on a little secret next time you’re on the Plaza during a race weekend — not all race fans wear NASCAR gear when they’re out on the town.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Nascar is what it is. There is a certain type of person who likes it. I am glad KC has it because it could be somewhere else. Just wait Craig let’s see what that casino does for Legend’s. I think it will be HUGE. That will bring a lot of people out there. I know I would drive out there anyday before I went to the river casino’s. You are in a good spot.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I haz karz
    Well I have to agree with CG on this one; sort of. Which is quite disturbing. I remember a similar event several years ago in Westport. Probably a BN production as well. Big meet & greet with all the drivers. Only pulled in a couple hundred people and most looked like they had just crawled out from underneath their double-wide trailers.

    FYI it wasn

  7. Anonymous says:

    Glazer you are right on man. NASCAR only brings people to the track for the most part. I was at Legends Friday night, very slow for a weekend night. Still a good event, but no help to Legends.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Again,your comment about NASCARon reflect your upper middle class bias. NASCAR helps many small business across the city. It provides a huge economic injection for this city.. The American Royal BBQ,NASCAR and First Friday was a big reason for the drain away from your comedy club.This city was rocking last weekend for a lot of people.

  9. Anonymous says:

    lets see…..100,000 tickets…more beer
    sold than at any other major event in the area
    (these nascar people drink beer like noone else
    can)…hotels…gas…booze…i would estimate
    it brings in $15 million dollars in a weekend…
    (just guessing)…and thats just the beginning…
    if those people drink one beer and some food
    you’ve got money in the millions.
    Don’t know the numbers but i’m sure this is huge…and the national exposure for the race
    is worth millions.
    Glazer..we will never be florida or ca. for
    tourists…but every nickel and dime this area
    takes in is huge right now. And now with 2 races
    its double the money.
    I wonder if anyone can tell us how much
    econmic activity these races generate in the
    area….I live in o.p. and I saw several team
    trucks and transports in the hotels out here…
    its got to bring in millions…which right now
    this town can really use.
    Maybe these people of nascar don’t spend big bucks but anything they spend here is needed.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mark X
    >>> It just does precious little $ wise for KC.<<> Half of the folks or more don

  11. Anonymous says:

    Rainbow Man
    The track is a giant mausoleum 360 days a year. Then, the racing fans come in, already packing 144 cans of Busch Light per person, that they bought at a Wal-Mart in Kentucky, and they never leave their trailers. I am not seeing a whole lot of economic benefit for the Brooks Brothers outlet store.

  12. Anonymous says:

    John Altevogt
    Craig is absolutely correct. NASCAR destroys business at The Legends everytime there’s a race. the rest of the time the track sits there like a giant pimple. Everytime I’m forced to drive around it I can’t help but contrast all of the activity on The Legends side of State Ave and all of the wasted space where my taxpaying neighbors used to live.

    NASCAR is a horrible corporate neighbor. They do nothing for the community and even their so-called charity is a joke. Whenever they want something they dangle another race in front of the UG. Last time it was to get the casino. They brought a new race to town and then promptly canceled another one.

    The I-70/I-435 corner is a phenomenal location that’s going to waste thanks to NASCAR. Too bad they didn’t have a federal corruption investigation of Dick Bond when they gave these corporate deadbeats a free ride for 30 years.

    For all it does for Wyandotte County, NASCAR can go to hell.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I’ve always had misgivings about the speedway because it promotes “Kansas” instead of “Kansas City.” Interesting that so many people apparently don’t think it provides such an economic boom. I always assumed it did.

    I don’t know how many tracks are still independently owned but I know the track near Chicago lost a lot of its personality when it was purchased by multi-track ownership.

  14. Anonymous says:

    John Altevogt
    Sorry, to clarify, I contrast all of the activity on the Legends side of State with all of the inactivity on the NASCAR side. And probably a better analogy for it would be a giant wood tick buried in the flesh of Wyandotte County.

    It has always been so. At the height of the construction of the track unemployment in WYCO went from 5.5% to 11%. Obviously NASCAR didn’t create more unemployment, but it did nothing to solve the problem either. In addition, there’s a wonderful legislative post audit report detailing the many scandals associated with the STAR bonds and the way in which our citizens were ripped off, forced to sell for pennies on the dollar of what their land was actually worth. One parcel that was sold for a few thousand an acre was later sold by RED literally for millions. Unfortunately, by that time, Marinobich had pretty much destroyed the only paper in town and The Star was in bed with the project and wouldn’t have said shit if they had a mouthful.

    Projects that Roy Teicher and Rebecca Shelton had on the table when The Kansan was destroyed by Marinobich’s UG was the question of why Gardner wisely said no to NASCAR and Shelton’s project of exploring the abuse of Checkered Flag Charities.

    One can only wonder how much more wonderful development might be taking place up a Corporate Whore Heights it we could bulldoze The Tick and put up an office park, or some other taxpaying entity.


  15. Anonymous says:

    I think a few folks are missing the point that if it weren’t for the speedway, Legends wouldn’t exist, and that entire region would still be a wasteland, dotted with a few houses here and there, and without the development, WyCo would be in far worse shape now than ever. It’s been an economic boon…it’s enhanced the profile of the whole metro….and that track doesn’t just ‘sit empty’ outside of the races. There are other events during the year…ones that don’t attract 100K in the stands, but other scheduled things nonetheless.

    Jeeezus, people.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Glazer is not saying there shouldn’t be NASCAR. He is just correctly pointing out as a couple people here see, that THE TRACK could do more to bring people out to KCK year round then it does. Also the race events are almost totally a benefit to the track only, not Legends or KC. I agree. More needs to be done to get them to do other things in the area.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure the new Hollywood Casino will have a comedy club that will overpay for comics and be a pain in the ass for Stanford’s.

    I agree that ISC got the better part of the deal over the UG but hey, that’s what they do. I think 2011 is a different story when you’ll be able to buy single event tickets instead of the whole package. We’ll see how the Nationwide and Camping World races do.

    Confusing F1 and IRL is PRICELESS. Right up there with Kietzman calling all stock cars “NASCARS”

    NASCAR fans spend LOTS of money. Just watching people at the haulers on SATURDAY the average purchase was $80.00. Question is do those folks pay any SALES TAX. Again on SATURDAY I saw over 200 Papa Johns pizzas being delivered to the PIT AREA. Three friends of mine that work for NASCAR spent over $2500.00 on the Plaza. They make an impact. Just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

    How many private jets flew in to the downtown airport. They don’t take off and land for free. How many catering companies were working in the Hospitality Village. How many cars and limos were rented.

    Poor people don’t own $250K+ motor homes and trailers.

    Hell, if there was a strip club by the Speedway they would have hauled in at least $300K this past weekend.

    All I know is if ISC had built the track in Iowa, Nebraska or Oklahoma we’d all be pissing and moaning about how we got screwed. All things being said ISC is better for the metro area than David Glass and the Royals.

  18. Anonymous says:

    smartman, some good points. But and I mean this in a nice way, the NASCAR events, from my point of view have mostly been a track event and have as Glazer points out done little around the city. Why would he lie about Legends being slow, he is there! So that kinda proves the point he is making. If they don’t jump into Lengends next door, then likely they aren’t going all over KC?

    As for the Formula car mix up, I get it. Ponit he made was also true, this is a Redneck crowd for the most part. True. Do they have bucks, some do, some don’t. I think saying middle class is correct, so smartman, the guy is close on these issues. Clearly not a race fan, Glazer. Producing a film on Fromula cars does not mean he is expert on the subject.

    Its better to have NASCAR, then not, but point of story after five years, it could interact with KC in a much better manner. Point well taken.

  19. Anonymous says:

    John Altevogt
    Personally, I think the fans have more class than ISC’s management. Everything I know abut the way they do business it seedy and ethically questionable. I just wish we could get a federal corruption investigation to look into the background of a few of the legislators involved in ramming the 30 year tax abatement through. Amazingly, Dick Bond’s bank’s profits doubled in one years time and then they unloaded it and he retired from the senate with some suggesting he didn’t want to become another Griffin Bell.

    As for some of the technical errors in Craig’s piece, you don’t have to be a mechanic to know that business drops off at The Legends whenever there’s a race in town. Nor do you have to be a stock car driver to figure out that it might be nice to have a lot more tax paying activity on the south side of State Avenue instead of the current pack of deadbeats.

  20. Anonymous says:

    If you follow ISC at all you know they are only out for ISC. Any other talk about “community involvement” is spin. KCKUG made a deal with the devil. They gotta live with it. It has good and bad points. For the average KCK citizen the track has done nothing to contribute to quality of life improvements.

    The track and the Legends are two separate deals. One does not require the other to exist. They are not equally yoked in anyone’s eyes.

    Now, with the new Hollywood Casino I would say that the casino will be in competition with the Legends for entertainment, dining and some retail The goal of any casino is not to let guests leave until they have been sufficiently fleeced of all cash and credit.

    The Legends has already revamped or is revamping itself into an outlet mall. Whether that planning was prescient, knowing a casino was coming and would most likely have some luxe retail is anyone’s guess.

    As someone pointed out there was a lot going on this weekend. People have choices. The ARBBQ is once a year, First Fridays once a month, the Speedway has TWO busy weekends a year. The Legends is damn near every day. To blame the Speedway for a couple of slow weekends at the Legends, in my opinion, is a stretch. To suggest that NASCAR’s import to the metro area is a myth is Stretch Armstrong.

    Western WYCO is doing well. The T-Bones are still one of the best entertainment values in town. The new soccer stadium and Cerner investment in the area will have tremendous impact. People will have a chance to vote with their dollars. The strong will survive.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Markus Aurelius
    What exactly are you all expecting ISC to do that they’re not currently doing? They are a for-profit business not a chamber of commerce. It sounds to me like they’ve done some tie-ins — they’ve sent drivers, musicians, etc.. out to local businesses. What specifically do you want ISC and/or NASCAR to do that they are not doing or have not done? Also, you can’t really blame the fans for not going to all the shops at The Legends — a lot of the shops out there aren’t catering to that demographic. Nor should they be, for only 2-3 weekends a year.

    That being said, Doog is right — but for the Speedway being built, WyCo would still be known as the Crimedotte and no residents of Johnson, Jackson, Clay or Platte would every bother going there on any regular or even periodic basis. How the development all came together under CM’s tenure with the UG may be a bit like making sausage, but, by golly, the sausage got made and the benefits to Wyandotte County are real. I can’t believe anyone can even remotely attempt to argue that WyCo was better off before the speedway came to town.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Markus Aurelius
    BTW, The Legends conversion to an outlet mall may be the worst development idea in the metro area in this millennium. The internet killed outlet malls once people realized that the outlet stores’ “deals” weren’t any better deals than one can find online. The best thing The Legends could do is take away the Plaza’s niche while Highwoods Properties runs away from it. The Plaza has always been a destination because of the critical mass of unique stores and restaurants that could not be found elsewhere in KC. As HP moves away from that and brings in more and more nat’l retailers and chains – The Legends ought to jump on it and become the unique destination that once made the Plaza great. HP’s poor development decisions with The Plaza coupled with the periodic security issues there have opened a door for The Legends that never should have existed. Nevertheless, I’m not optimistic that The Legends’ brass will have the foresight to grab the opportunity. They appear to have already played their hand with the outlet mall. The Plaza is a perfect example of why out-of-town developers don’t work…..but that’s for another blog/post.

  23. Anonymous says:

    John Altevogt
    One point, business has always been down on race days. It had nothing to do with this specific weekend. It’s actually a great time to shop at The Legends. Once the race crowd is in for the day they’re there until it lets out and then they’re gone – very quickly.

    As for what I expect ISC to do, it’s not anything specific, it’s just that everything that they do just seems to have a coat of slime on it. As I said before, their fans have far more class than they ever dreamed of having. What’s worse is now you have a sleazy corporation running a sleazy casino that’s tied in with the government. What could possibly go wrong?

  24. Anonymous says:

    I doubt that there will be any more comedy in KC other than Stanfords and Improv. As far as nightly is concerned. Stanfords has proven they are the only one that lasts. The casino likely will only do weekend stuff, music, comedy etc…

  25. Anonymous says:

    Rainbow Man
    Doog– Nebraska Furniture Mart, Legends, Cabela’s, etc can all exist without NASCAR. Easily.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Rainbow – Yeah…now…and it’s easy to make that kind of generalization now. But had the track never been built, Legends would have never become a reality.
    What a lot of folks seem to lose sight of the fact that the vision was an entertainment/retail destination, initially anchored by the track.
    I’ll repeat it again for those who whine, cry, bitch and moan about the track. Legends would have never existed had it not been for creation of the speedway. NFM would not have built there, Cabela’s would never have located there, and the constant expansion of restaurant/retail destinations wouldn’t be what we see now.
    And Craig’s comedy club would still be in that shitty strip mall-looking building next to Hooter’s in OP, which is hardly a destination location.

  27. Anonymous says:

    craig glazer
    Comment folks: I never said the track was a bad place or not good for our city in general. I am glad its out here, and you guys are right, that led to the entire district being built. Thats a good thing for all of us. It’s that NASCAR, needs to get more involved with KCK and KCMO on working with all of us to make the event fans get out into the city more. Especially at Legends their neighbor. So far they have done little to work with anyone but themselves. We don’t need highway signs saying STAY AWAY we are too busy…this type of thing.

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