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No concert weekend for Watkins track ADVERTISEMENT

No concert weekend for Watkins track

WATKINS GLEN--Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup said the racetrack does not have any plans for a stand-alone concert in 2016. The track president spoke to a group of 60 people Saturday, Feb. 27 in the Watkins Glen elementary school auditorium. The event was part of the Center Conversation Series held by the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC). During his talk, Printup not only gave the crowd an update on the repaving project, but also answered the crowd's questions about things like concerts, festivals and Indy Car racing.
Printup said the opportunity to have another show this year ended around three weeks ago, adding, "there was no plug to pull." He said the three-day Phish concert held at the track last August drew a large crowd and generated significant sales tax revenue for Schuyler County. Printup noted while it is still a possibility in future years, it is unlikely there will be another concert this year.
In addition to this, the track president said they would limit the number of shows to one a year, if any. He mentioned it is a questionable business model for the track, since they rent the track for the event and do not make money off of the ticket sales. Printup noted he does not want the shows to take over what they do at the location.
Printup also discussed the $12 million repaving project at the track that is wrapping up. While he said the paving itself was completed since last October, there are still a few things like track painting left to be done before the grand opening. The president also noted they invited Gov. Andrew Cuomo to attend a ribbon cutting at the track during opening weekend April 15 through 17.
The crowd asked him questions about a variety of topics, including the annual wine and beer festivals. Printup said both are growing throughout the years. He said they decided to cap the number of wineries at 90 this year, noting there are plans to add air conditioning to all tents and garages to deal with the heat.
Attendees also asked about the possibility of NASCAR racing The Boot in the future, with Printup noting it is a possibility. However, he added it would mean fewer people at the grandstands as people move to that portion of the track if NASCAR decided to add it to the race. Printup said it would also lower the lap number from 90 to about 60.
Printup was also asked about the possibility of Indy cars returning to the track. He said he would like to see them return, but added their last Indy car race lost the track $580,000. Printup said if they were to do it, it would not be beneficial to only do it for one, two or three years.

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