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Thu, 15 Jun 2000, 06:44 PM

Niagara Green Lights Motor Racing Speedway Targeting North American
Courtesy of IHRA Communication

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- Circuit Niagara Falls International Speedway Inc. (NFIS) announced today the development of a C$120 million (approx. US$83 million) motor speedway and tourism complex. Upon completion, the facility will house Canada's first permanent oval for competitive circuit racing; Phase One of construction includes an international drag strip scheduled to open next summer.

"With a prime location just three kilometres from the Canada-U.S border, both Canadian and American motor sports spectators will have easy access to world-class events, supported by outstanding grandstand facilities seating more than 60,000 people," said NFIS Chairman Trevor Eyton at a groundbreaking ceremony today.

Housed on a 190 hectare (470 acre) site, the Niagara Falls facility will be capable of hosting a wide range of national and international events on a drag strip and oval tracks, including a 2.4 kilometre (1.5 mile) circuit.

NFIS signed an agreement yesterday with the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) for the new speedway to host a National Drag Race as its inaugural event in August 2001. "IHRA's future growth is tied to visionary partners like Senator Eyton and NFIS President Joseph Zawadski, who are committed to building state-of-the-art motor sports stadiums," said IHRA President Bill Bader. " We look forward to a long partnership with NFIS."

Senator Eyton led a private sector consortium that was instrumental in the development of Toronto's Skydome sports arena. He is also Chairman of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame and is a Director of the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid Corporation.

"Sports are an important part of tourism in Ontario, and new facilities will draw new visitors," said Ontario Tourism Minister Cam Jackson. "Sports and recreation-related tourism generated C$3.1 billion (approx. US$ 2.2 billion) in business in 1998 - this means jobs and prosperity for Ontario families," he added.

According to Niagara Falls Mayor Wayne Thomson, the business community is on-board with the project. "With the support of local residents like Joe Zawadski--whose mission it was to bring a motor racing facility to the area -- we're confident that this new attraction will add yet another dimension to our unique and world class city."

Niagara Falls International Speedway Inc. is a privately-owned, Canadian corporation that will manage the design, construction and development of the motor racing speedway and tourism complex.

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