CENTRAL SQUARE, NY – Glenn Donnelly and his team at CNY Raceway Park have big plans for the upcoming opening and success of the country’s most modern race track facility.
With 120 acres to customize to their liking, the Raceway Park team has envisioned a state-of-the-art, modern and unique racetrack facility to accommodate all motor sports, all year round.
Designed by Peter Argetsinger, the son of the man who designed Watkins Glen and is a well-known racer and leading coach for drivers all over the world, the course will have similarities to that of Watkins Glen.
“We will be the same type as Watkins Glen, but we will do more,” said CNY Raceway Park President, Donnelly.
Located in Central Square on U.S. Route 11, the track has already been guaranteed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to be home to Super DIRT Week for 2016 and onward.
Super DIRT Week marked its last year at the NYS Fairgrounds this month.
The grandstand and track at the fairgrounds will be demolished as part of a large-scale makeover.
The Governor recently made the official announcement that Super DIRT Week will have a new home at the Central New York Raceway Park in Oswego County.
New York State will invest an additional $5 million, on top of the $2.75 million that has already been committed through the CNY REDC CFA process.
The $50 million CNY Raceway Park project will create more than 150 jobs.
While Super DIRT Week has the potential to bring in nearly 70,000 people for one week each October, Donnelly hopes to bring in at least 1.3 million people over the course of one full year of operation.
This facility will have the potential to bring 150 full-time jobs as well as several hundred part-time positions and will need to hire many extra positions for large events such as Super DIRT Week.
To be prepared for next year’s Super DIRT Week, the track needs to be ready by October of 2016.
However, Donnelly plans to have the dirt track open sometime between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July followed by the road course opening by Labor Day of 2016.
The Central Square location has the capacity to hold even more than the estimated 1,500 campers and 3500 cars that have previously been held at the NYS Fairgrounds during Super DIRT Week.
While the new facility will be located right next to the Brewerton Speedway, Donnelly sees no friction between the two in the future.
“It’s like apples and oranges,” said Donnelly. “They have their weekly races on Friday nights during the season, we will be having daily deals year round. We’ve already begun working together with Brewerton Speedway for things such as Central Square Apple Festival. The vendors were at their speedway and the parking was here.”
CNYRP will be different in that it will feature a 2.2-mile road course, a half-mile synthetic dirt track, a five-story command center featuring a 300-seat restaurant, a media production room, and several offices, and a 50-bay NASCAR style garage.
Donnelly plans to have the usual raceway events during the regular season from May until October, especially featuring special events on the synthetic dirt track.
However, unlike many other racetrack facilities, Donnelly will incorporate winter motor sports such as snowmobiling and events such as Winter Fest.
By providing a heated, climate-controlled command center, they can also offer these events and others such as indoor go-karts and horse races all winter long without audiences in freezing temperatures.
“There’s not any form of motor sports we wont have, we will be able to accommodate everyone. We will be the first in the country like it,” said Donnelly.
The facility will hold plenty of other events as well such as concerts and car shows.
The location of CNYRP worked perfectly for what Donnelly had envisioned and will bring forth an expected economic boost for the entire CNY region, according to Donnelly.
“There’s enough housing and restaurants in the corridor south of us around Syracuse area for people to stay, but this local area has a lot to offer as well as a tourist attraction. I think Oswego County will have a greater impact and develop more amenities as time goes on,” said Donnelly.
The businesses close by in areas such as Central Square have no opposition to the future plans of Raceway Park, and neither do the school districts says Donnelly.
There has even been talk of Donnelly purchasing the Central Square Middle School that is currently located right next to the site of CNY Raceway Park to transform the school into a technical college in partnership with SUNY Oswego with a large focus on motor sports.
“There’s more to this game as we move ahead. This project has been ongoing for five years now just as far as permitting and getting everything set. These other plans are future plans,” said Donnelly, but undoubtedly plans the team is optimistic about.
Located right off of State Route 81, the location was the perfect fit for Donnelly.
The team is currently working with the state to reopen a closed rest area just outside of the raceway to connect Route 81 directly to the facility and alleviate any heavy traffic issues.
“This location was second to none for us. It perfectly splits the center point of the whole state and all the markets we need are very accessible to us,” said Donnelly.
Donnelly is already aiming to keep the work as local as possible while working with places such as EDF energy that owns 49% of Nine Mile Point to supply energy needs, Ephesus for lighting, Riccelli Trucking and LanCo Construction.
The enthusiasm for the anticipated unveiling of CNY Raceway Park is anything but local, however.
Nearly all of the state, federal and local politicians and representatives are aware of the project being undertaken and many are involved in the process.
With 42 partners, all of which are major players in their own specific field but also in motor sports themselves, they are highly motivated to produce this facility and excited for the potential it holds.
The excitement will continue to grow over the winter as much of the construction will be done. However, you will soon be able to track the excitement on CNY Raceway Park’s new website.
“I’m expecting the new website to launch sometime in the middle of November. We will be posting weekly updates in video format and it’s going to go quick, from the first building being built, to the completion of the dirt track, to the road course laid out,” said Donnelly.
For now, visit www.cnyrp.com for more information on CNY Raceway Park.
Video credit: www.cnyrp.com