The future of auto racing on the New York State Fairgrounds mile in Syracuse, N.Y., might be on life support, but it’s not dead.
A comment made by Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner during a recent Syracuse Channel 9 interview appeared to tell viewers that the frontstretch main grandstand was going to be officially torn down.
That, however, is not the case – at least not yet.
“I said it was publicly known that the grandstand was coming down,” said Waffner in an AARN interview last Thursday.
“What I should have said was that it is publicly known that this is the last year paid grandstand-style concerts will be held at the fairgrounds.”
In promoting this year’s New York State Fair, which will be held August 27 through Labor Day, September 7, the Fair is holding a series of “Throwback” events in front of the grandstand which feature lower ticket prices. These will be the last paid concerts held in front of the grandstand. The Fair and Onondaga County had already announced plans to move all concerts to the new amphitheater on Onondaga Lake next year when that project is completed.
“No decision has been made one way or the other regarding the race track or the grandstand,” said Waffner. “We’re still in the middle of the master plan process. The God’s honest truth is the plan changes every day.”
October’s Super DIRT Week will go on as scheduled this year. Race fans hope it will continue for much longer. Waffner gives us in motorsports some hope that the “Moody Mile” or a smaller sized version could continue for years to come.
He said that while New York State has granted them $50 million for renovations, that money is expected to fall short in building everything that had been originally envisioned.
“$50 million sounds like a lot,” said Waffner, “but it’s not a lot of money when you start building. We’re trying to figure out what we can do for the money.”
Look for an official announcement to come at the fair when political officials, such as the governor of New York, could be part of the presentation. Waffner told AARN a draft of the master plan could be released in advance to allow for public opinion. He expected the building time line and final rendering to be released on the first day of the fair.
“We’re definitely hoping to have a plan by the fair,” Waffner finalized.