Let’s be honest, when we heard that NASCAR was going to spend $1 million to create a temporary quarter-mile short track at the 100-year-old Memorial Los Angeles Coliseum, we wondered why? What a great expense for something that lasts but for one race. But then we saw NASCAR’s concept of what it will look like, and we changed our minds. We have to say that the quick vid sold us right away.
NASCAR 2022 Inaugural Busch Light LA Coliseum temporary race track spot
The race will kick off the Busch Light Clash exhibition event on February 6, 2022. It will debut NASCAR’s Next-Gen Cup Series cars in all their glory. It’s a special venue for kicking off something all-new that it has been working on for years.
Even though it is almost up the street from the Auto Club Speedway (it’s actually 50-miles away), which NASCAR owns, it is a completely unique, unforgettable place to race. Built in 1923 as a tribute to LA WWI veterans, it has spent sometimes decades almost completely unused. It is currently the home of the USC Trojan football games.
But it survived beyond the LA Sports Arena just across the 110 freeway, that separated the two venues. That was built in 1959 and demolished in 2016. It’s just how LA rocks.
Racing inside of the Memorial Coliseum in downtown Los Angeles
NASCAR created this video, which will hype the racing event in the LA market. It shows flash images of traditional LA features like the Hollywood sign and palm trees; your typical So Cal icons. With engines roaring the animation shows the iconic Coliseum entrance. Then a virtual crane shot takes the viewer up and over the entrance to reveal cars racing inside of the Coliseum.
That right there makes it a compelling draw. NASCAR VP of Marketing Services Patrick Rogers confirmed that it will cost more to build than what the entire Coliseum cost in 1923, which was $955,000. Adjusted for inflation, that would be $15,522,826.90 today.
As Jalopnik notes, A tad over $1 million isn’t very much when you factor in what permanent tracks cost today. Iowa Speedway, built in 2006, cost $92.7 million, adjusted for inflation. And that’s a ⅞-mile track in the middle of Iowa, not that there is anything wrong with that.
But NASCAR’s Auto Club Speedway is just 50 miles away
With the Auto Club Speedway but 50 miles away, NASCAR has plans for it. It is currently a two-mile track, but NASCAR wants to convert it into a half-mile short-track. And that will probably cost lots more than the one-time Coliseum transformation.
So it could pay $1 million each year for many years to convert the LA Coliseum. And it would still not have spent anything near the costs wrapped up in some of its permanent tracks.
With this being 50 miles north of Fontana, it should draw many fans from the San Joaquin Valley. Not to mention the large fan base in the Los Angeles area. But the real winners will be those fans glued to their television sets that can experience an almost unreal NASCAR event set in the middle of Hollywood and its multi-million dollar homes.