March 1, 2012
For immediate release
Chapel Hill: The International Motorsports Entertainment and Development Corporation (IMEDC) has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for proposing a $500 million NASCAR-ready racing complex, the “Minnesota Speedway Park,” close to a residential area.
The proposed racing complex would be near the intersection of Highway 2 and I-35 in Lakeville, Minnesota, a residential community 30 miles south of Minneapolis. A Minnesota newspaper reports that the facility would feature “a seven-eighths mile oval track, a hotel conference facility, RV parking, and a quarter-mile drag strip. Its scheduled opening would be 2014.”
El Tinklenberg, a spokesman for IMEDC, said that the project would bring in “literally thousands of jobs during construction and operation” in Scott and Dakota counties.
Area residents, though, aren’t exactly convinced that the proposed noise-making facility would be good for their quality of life. Lakeville Friends of the Environment opposes this project, saying it “cannot be environmentally good news.” An Elko resident states, “I, along with every one of my neighbors, am vehemently opposed to this project. What is more important: the convenience of a short drive to watch a hobby, or the quality of life for hundreds of residents that have to live next to it?”
A resident of south King County, Washington commented on her personal experience with the noise from racing facilities: “Here, we have a race track that wants to expand from am mediocre race facility to a mega track with oval, kart track, drifting skid pad, two drag strips, motorcross racing, and a sports car track. They are also trying to sell it on the basis of a phony thousands of new, well-paying jobs and added business. The project has a noise footprint of several thousand homes. Thousands more will be added, post-development, to the expanded noise footprint.”
Ted Rueter, director of Noise Free America, commented that “noisemaking projects are always promoted on the basis of ‘more jobs.’ This ignores the fact that noisemaking industries worsen the quality of life, cause noise-related illnesses, and lessen property values. What’s more important: a few extra dollars in your pocket or peace and quiet? Noise-making projects such as the Minnesota Speedway Park should be rejected.”
Noise Free America is a national non-profit organization devoted to noise reduction. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include the Wisconsin state legislature and Madison, Wisconsin.