October 10, 2002

Fair Board, Hoenig Announce Race Track Contract For 2003

The Scotland County Fair Board and race track promoter Terry Hoenig announced Saturday night during an intermission in the season finale race at Scotland County Speedway that they had agreed on a contract for next season.

The announcement came just two nights after the board had met with Hoenig in Memphis to discuss bringing back the promoter in 2003.

The fair board discussed several improvements planned for the track during the Thursday night meeting. The board has already committed approximately $2,000 to replace the flooring in the grandstands. This is the second part of the project, which was begun last season.

Hoenig also was informed the board has purchased a small number of new lights for the track. Plans are being discussed on the placement of the units to help alleviate some of the track's lighting issues.

The largest project was saved for last. The board informed Hoenig it was in the planing stages to replace the cook shack with a new concession stand that would include new restroom facilities as well as areas for beer concessions and the junior fan club.

Board members stressed that the project was in the preliminary stages and was not a definite at that time.

"Let's measure twice and only cut the board once," said Fair Board President Phil Aylward. "We need to make sure we can afford this project before we jump into it. I don't think the fair board wants to have to borrow money to put the fair on next year."

Aylward stressed that a project of this magnitude would require plenty of community support both financially and on the work end.

Board member Jim Fuller said the initial plans were for the building to be approximately 45' x 45' with a 15-foot entrance way through the middle of the site to control access to the track while offering fans access to food, refreshments as well as much improved restroom facilities. The current concession stand is 28' x 28'.

The board discussed the idea and came to the consensus that approximately $25,000 could be budgeted for the project. Members felt that the plan would require additional funding. Numerous fundraising ideas were discussed. Anyone wishing to donate to the project or with any fundraising ideas can contact any fair board member.

Hoenig expressed his appreciation for the planned improvements. While he did not commit to a new contract until two days later, he told the board what to expect at SCS if he returned.

The promoter stated he plans to return all six classes for next season. While the classes likely will not change, he did indicate that the late model pay-out will have to be adjusted next season with lower purses being offered.

Hoenig indicated that he had spoken with many of the sponsors from this year and he felt like they would back in 2003. He noted that five nights in 2002 went without sponsors and he was hoping to fix that problem this season with more time to work on the track marketing.

Increased sponsorships and possible decreased pay-outs are two plans to help offset the financing issues Hoenig told the board. The promoter reportedly had to make $6,000 at the season finale to finish in the black for the 2002 year.

"I want to go forward and I want to make this track work, but I can't put in all this work for nothing," Hoenig told the board. "I think we all know where this track can go, it's just a matter of how do we get it there."

To offset some of the costs for the promoter, the board agreed not to charge rent for the track during the fair. Hoenig stated that all other shows are paid to perform while the race program was being charged to entertain the crowd.

Both sides also were in agreement to reduce the schedule to only one night of racing during the fair.

The new concession stand and restrooms would also alleviate some expense for Hoenig.

Both sides obviously left the meeting in positive mindset for 2003 as it took just two more days to iron out the contract so it could be announced at the season finale.

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