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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Below is an article from the AJC about Bill Elliott helping Atlanta get the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The interesting thing is that earlier today it contained a couple extra paragraphs in which the CEO of Cousins offered to give NASCAR the development rights over the parking deck at the intersection of Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Marrietta Street (the one with the Philips Arena clock). There had been plans to some day build an office tower on the site so the deck was built with all the expensive structural supports needed for a large building. The free land and what is essentially a prelaid foundation would cut down on the construction cost considerably.

More importantly, this is a good location. Business leaders in Atlanta have become obsessed with soviet large scale construction of anything and everything. Attractions should not be all clumped up together too tightly. It is good to have them within walking distance of each other but not on top of each other. Having them spread out a little gives each space to expand and will cause development in the areas inbetween. Spread them out too far and the connection is lost and the inbetween development doesn't happen.

If the Five Points area (the actual five points intersection, not the subway station a block south) has some kind of destination, there would be a good pedestrian linkage from Underground to Five Points to NACAR/CNN/DOME/PHILLIPS (sports arenas only serve as linking points when an event is taking place, the rest of the time they serve as a link breaker) to the aquarium/WoC/Childrens' Museum.

I am kind of curious why the paragraphs were removed. Did the AJC let the cat out of the bag?

If this should come to be, hopefully it will also spur development of the rest of the intersection. CNN is making a better street presence on their corner and then you have the park on another corner but the other two are dedicated to parking (one is even a surface lot!). I've always felt that Centennial and Marietta should be a marque intersection. Of course Atlanta's other marque intersections such as Peachtree/International and Peachtree/Peidmont could both use some help too. It would be great if someday there was enough foot traffic in the area for CNN to have a street level studio like the Today show on NBC.

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Local racing hero Bill Elliott, better known as "Awesome Bill from Dawsonville," will be the lead salesman for Atlanta's bid to be NASCAR's Cooperstown.

"Million Dollar Bill" — the first NASCAR driver to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated — will use his strong ties to corporate sponsors and NASCAR executives to help Atlanta win stock car racing's hall of fame.

The earliest days of NASCAR started in Georgia, and "Atlanta deserves a good shot at this thing," Elliott said Friday.

Some fans may assume Charlotte is a natural site for the hall of fame, he said, but that's because North Carolina was geographically central when the sport was a Southern past-time.

"That's not the case anymore," Elliott said, NASCAR has evolved into a national phenomenon.

Atlanta is competing with Charlotte, Kansas City, Kan., Richmond, Daytona Beach and the state of Michigan for a NASCAR hall of fame attraction. Bids are due to NASCAR's decision makers by May 31.

Elliott will officially be the honorary chairman of the city's NASCAR bid. Scott Wilfong, president of SunTrust Bank, Atlanta, and Mark Lazarus, president of Turner Entertainment group, are also leading the effort, among other city and state officials.

Elliott scored 43 NASCAR Winston Cup (now Nextel Cup) victories, including the 1985 and 1987 Daytona 500. He also holds the distinction of being the fastest NASCAR driver ever with a qualifying speed of 212.825 mph, set at the Talladega Superspeedway in 1987.
 

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I just read the story on the website and it includes the part about Cousins willing to donate the right to build over the parking deck. But I dont think the site they're talking about is directly on Marietta street but that would be a great location.
 

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I've always felt that Daytona was the natural 'touristy' location for the Hall, and Charlotte would be the true natural fit (like a Canton or a Coopersville). I put Atlanta third in my mind, but this proposal certainly ups the ante and puts Atlanta's bid right on par with Charlotte and Daytona's.

lol, just reading the article, I did find something kinda amusing...

Some fans may assume Charlotte is a natural site for the hall of fame, he said, but that's because North Carolina was geographically central when the sport was a Southern past-time.

"That's not the case anymore," Elliott said, NASCAR has evolved into a national phenomenon.
So North Carolina isn't geographically central enough...but Atlanta is??? lol, I just find that line funny. If centralized location were the key then Kansas City would run away with this, I guess.
 

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AubieTurtle said:
I am kind of curious why the paragraphs were removed. Did the AJC let the cat out of the bag?
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that was removed. Because Charlotte is such a conservative community, it was basically common knowledge that before the NASCAR Hall presentation is presented, the public would get to know the entire framework of it. That’s good if you’re a right wing conservative who doesn’t trust government and are overly concerned about higher taxes, business incentives, etc. But if you’re the group responsible for presenting the region’s case for the Hall to NASCAR, you have to be concerned that you’ve essentially “show your hand” to the other competitors. For example, Charlotte announced their anticipated attendance figures and the Atlanta committee blasted those numbers. But they’re in a position to do that. All they have to do now is look at Charlotte’s proposal and simply come up with ideas to counter it. I commend the other communities for continuing to hold their cards close.
 

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^ I believe the point that Mr. Elliot was trying to make was that NASCAR is no longer a regional sport,ie confined to the South,and that,in his opinion,Atlanta better represented that perspective because of its national/international profile.Image and not geography being the salient point in his argument.
 

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Carolina Blue said:
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that was removed. Because Charlotte is such a conservative community, it was basically common knowledge that before the NASCAR Hall presentation is presented, the public would get to know the entire framework of it. That’s good if you’re a right wing conservative who doesn’t trust government and are overly concerned about higher taxes, business incentives, etc. But if you’re the group responsible for presenting the region’s case for the Hall to NASCAR, you have to be concerned that you’ve essentially “show your hand” to the other competitors. For example, Charlotte announced their anticipated attendance figures and the Atlanta committee blasted those numbers. But they’re in a position to do that. All they have to do now is look at Charlotte’s proposal and simply come up with ideas to counter it. I commend the other communities for continuing to hold their cards close.
Well Atlanta projects at least double the annual visitors of the Charlotte proposal so if thats a factor it can't hurt Atlanta.
 

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Atlanta giving away land, Charlotte increasing hotel tax to fund it... nothing like publicly funding private developments. You guys should be so proud!
 

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charlotte is also giving them land. it would also include a new conference hall for the convention center that would be connected to the convention via overstreet walkway [needed, IMO].
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
spencer114 said:
Atlanta giving away land, Charlotte increasing hotel tax to fund it... nothing like publicly funding private developments. You guys should be so proud!
Cousins is a private company. They are the ones giving away the land, not the government.

Which isn't to say the government wouldn't be willing. I do find it silly that a private for profit like NASCAR is looking for public handouts but in this particular case, it is a private business giving the handout. My guess would be that Cousins owns a lot of other property in the area and would like to see the value increase due to having a tourist attraction nearby. Coke gave nine very valuable acres of land to the Georgia Aquarium but the increase in value of the other 11 acres on the same lot more than makes up for the donation. Plus they get a nice big tax write off for it.
 

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AubieTurtle said:
I do find it silly that a private for profit like NASCAR is looking for public handouts but in this particular case, it is a private business giving the handout.
Actually NASCAR isn’t “looking” for anything. The parameters they gave were very sketchy and intentionally vague. If a city wanted too, they could propose that their funding plan include a contribution from NASCAR.

Quote from Associated Press:
“NASCAR's proposal will not include requirements about size and funding sources, Dyer said. But NASCAR wants something as large and as attractive as the baseball, basketball and football halls of fame, all in smaller Northern cities.”
 

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I find it amusing that someone in Richmond could be smug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If NASCAR wasn't looking for a handout, they could have easily done the market research themselves. Trusting the chamber of commerce in each city to do the research when you know they are just going to distort the numbers to make their own city look best isn't a logical way of going about it. The only reason for NASCAR to put the proposals in to the hands of local officials instead of doing themself is to see how much they can get the cities to cough up.

There is no reason for the hall of fame to go anywhere other than Charlotte or Daytona except for money. That's what it is all about!
 

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AubieTurtle said:
If NASCAR wasn't looking for a handout, they could have easily done the market research themselves. Trusting the chamber of commerce in each city to do the research when you know they are just going to distort the numbers to make their own city look best isn't a logical way of going about it. The only reason for NASCAR to put the proposals in to the hands of local officials instead of doing themself is to see how much they can get the cities to cough up.

There is no reason for the hall of fame to go anywhere other than Charlotte or Daytona except for money. That's what it is all about!
@AubieTurtle: I agree with you on your first paragraph, but disagree on the second paragraph. Daytona is the HQ of NASCAR and its apparent owners (the France family) and Charlotte is probably surrounded by more of the original small town racetracks where NASCAR went from being a dirt track race between the fastest moonshine drivers to an "organized" sport. But as NASCAR has grown along with metro Atlanta, the cities with the most number of fans has Atlanta near or at the top. This creates a built in local supply of fans to visit the NASCAR museum in Atlanta. Because, after all the freebies have been thrown NASCAR's way, they still want a stream of revenue (ie people) going through turnstiles and paying $15+ for the "NASCAR experience."
 

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From AJC.com 3/10/05
Daytona bid for NASCAR shrine hits roadblock.
Another competing city in the race for a NASCAR hall of fame has veered into financial trouble. Daytona Beach, home of NASCAR's premier event, the Daytona 500, and the France family, which owns the sport, failed on Friday to win $30 million from the Florida Legislature. Daytona's effort to lure NASCAR's hall of fame will continue but without public support, said George Mirabal, president and chief executive of the group organizing the city's bid, the Chamber, Daytona Beach Halifax Area. Plan B, he said, is to seek help from the private sector. Building a NASCAR hall of fame could cost $70 million or more, and raising money has become one of the biggest obstacles for cities trying to land the attraction. Talladega, Ala., dropped out in March, citing the hefty cost.
 

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How the France family came to "own" a sport is beyond me? I read the above article too, but I don't see how you couldn't set up an alternative stock car racing league called anything but NASCAR? What else can this family own than the name "NASCAR." They may have contracts with all the raceways around the country to only allow NASCAR stock car races at their tracks, but if alternate tracks could be used then it doesn't seem like they own the sport.

It's strange, because Formula 1 has a similar situation where one man basically "owns" F1, but many of the big racing companies are thinking of starting their own independent league, which would split Formula 1 almost in half.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Tying up all the tracks to where they can't have other races might be an antitrust violation. Baseball has a waiver and as we saw with the NFL/USFL battle, even when an existing sport is found guilty of violating antitrust laws, they get just a slap on the wrist.

If there was to be an alternative to NASCAR, it would have to be started by a couple of the big names in racing. If it was started with a bunch of guys who couldn't make it in NASCAR, it wouldn't stand a chance.

Your argument about the placement of the hall of fame seems to support my point. It is about money. The history of the sport is in Daytona and Charlotte, not Atlanta. Putting it here would be a good decision from a financial point of view but not from the view of historic integrity. The baseball hall of fame is in Cooperstown, NY because evidence points to it being where the game was invented. They certainly could make more money by relocating it to NYC or Las Vegas. The same goes for the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohion. They are located in small towns because that's where the history is. For NASCAR to ignore history and pick a town that will attract the greatest number of customers shows they care more about money than the history of the sport.
 

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Style said:
they could start up a 'new' NASCAR at all the tracks nascar dumped last year with the new tracks they added.
They could call it the American Super Stock Car Auto Racing or ASSCAR for short. All the drivers would get specialized license plates from their home states with "ASSMAN" on it, just like on "Seinfeld." :) :runaway:
:weirdo: :weirdo:
 

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But, seriously, obviously sports now days is totally about the cash! If they could do it, Baseball would move their Hall of Fame from Cooperstown to a much bigger city and the NFL would move from Canton to a bigger city too. That's sports today!
 
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