Legislation could provide $70M in upgrades to IMS

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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is backing proposed legislation to solidify the state's claim of being the "Racing Capital of the World."

State Senator Michael Young (R-Speedway) is expected to introduce the legislation Monday, which will capture the taxes - including state, income and corporate tax - collected at the property that includes IMS and invest it in the legendary racetrack.

The proposal would include at least $70 million in "significant capital improvements" at IMS. The money would come from the taxes collected through an Indiana Motorsports Investment District, which would be created by the legislation, and investments made by the Speedway.

"IMS is an enormous, 100-year-old facility. In addition to the many annual projects to maintain it, we need to make the Speedway more flexible, more modern and better positioned to attract more fans to IMS and Indiana," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer, in a release Friday. "In addition to funding contributed by IMS, the Motorsports Investment District will use dollars generated at IMS to enable the fan experience at the Speedway to continue to be the most enjoyable in motorsport."

Possible improvement projects for the Speedway could include the installation of lights for night events, high-definition video boards, LED scoring and information boards and improvements to many structural aspects of the facility.

IMS officials said Friday the proposal would not affect local schools, because funding the Indiana Motorsports Investment District would not involve the collection of property taxes.