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Alameda City Council Approves Test Day for Autocross and Drag Racing at Alameda Point

Last night, Alameda City Council, sitting as the Alameda Re-use and Redevelopment authority, approved a “test day” to examine the potential for expanded autocross racing, and 1/8th mile drag racing at Alameda Point. Alameda Auto Park LLC wants to lease area on the Northwest Territories for 40 weekends and 80 days of motorsport, with 150 cars descending on Alameda Point each weekend racing at peak speeds of 75 MPH.

Not everyone was in favor, however. Vice Mayor deHaan and Councilmember Matarrese opposed the motion made by Councilmember Gilmore. deHaan and Matarrese cited concerns over safety, noise and local emissions from the vehicles, the latter two of which particularly impact West End residents. (Councilmember Gilmore’s husband is Rod Gilmore, an analyst for ESPN.) Representatives from existing tenants at Alameda Point, including Rockwall Winery and Antiques by the Bay also expressed concerns. Film Commission chairman David Duffin said that 40 weekends of auto racing at Alameda Point will make it extremely difficult to re-develop the movie industry at Alameda Point just at the time the State of California is introducing incentives for native productions.

City of Alameda Redevelopment Services Director Leslie Little said that the events might bring $160,000 in annual lease revenue to ARRA, and $2.3 million in gross revenue to the applicant. Representatives from Alameda Auto Park LLC insisted that is largely a “participant” rather than a “spectator” sport, but we found that difficult to rationalize with their statements about national brand name sponsors helping to fund the events – sponsors tend to want a wide spectator audience.

As soon as we have a date for the “test day,” we will publish it.

1 comment to Alameda City Council Approves Test Day for Autocross and Drag Racing at Alameda Point

  • Larry Helms

    At face value it might be difficult to rationalize national sponsorship for “participant” events, but that’s really what an autocross is. Visibility from sponsorship comes from enthusiast magazine articles, club magazines and newsletters, and catalog adds. There’s no add campaign, ticket sales, etc., geared toward solicitation of spectators. Spectators, if any, usually amount to a few family members of participants as well as other participants who watch when they’re not actively driving.