In a political power play that would make even the toughest poker superstar envious, Bruton Smith played his hand and the taxpayers are the ones who will be paying.
Feeling disrespected by the Concord City Council in rejecting his plans to build a drag strip next to the Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Smith threatened to close down the speedway and build a new one somewhere else in the greater Charlotte area. Many, including yours truly, said that we should call his bluff and not give in and throw taxpayer money at him to not move (or maintain the status quo).
Well, guess what? Smith backed down on his threat to move and cashed in on the City, County and State’s offer of $70 million to stay where he is.
He gets $70 million in taxpayer money to do nothing!
Once again, the threat of moving (but not actually doing so) has cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. It was warned that the Goodyear deal set a very bad precedent and the slippery slope from it was dangerous to the state. Now we are seeing the results.
The sooner we can put an end to this practice the better.