The North Carolina Senate voted yesterday to establish stock car racing as the "official state sport" by
a margin of 46-3 and as the largest motorsports facility in the state, Charlotte Motor Speedway is celebrating the Senate's ruling.
"North Carolina is truly the world capital of motorsports and we applaud the decision of the North Carolina Senate and its leadership to establish stock car racing as the official state sport," said Marcus
Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"Motorsports in general, and more specifically Charlotte Motor Speedway, has such an enormous impact on the state's economy. This includes money generated through fan support, by motorsports facilities and through permanent and seasonal jobs not just at the speedway, but at the race teams and countless other motorsports-related organizations."
According to the latest economic impact study, Charlotte's motorsports megaplex that includes the famed 1.5-mile superspeedway, zMAX Dragway and the Dirt Track at Charlotte, brings in more than $400 million annually to the state's economy and will employ as many as 6,000 people during race events. Much of that impact will be felt in May during the facility's two weeks of racing, highlighted by the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29.
The state sport bill was brought to the North Carolina General Assembly in February, 2011, by a group of fifth graders at Lake Norman Elementary School in Mooresville, N.C. In proposing the legislation, the
students pointed to motorsports' $6 billion annual economic impact to North Carolina and noted that Charlotte, N.C., and the surrounding region is home to Charlotte Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and more than 90 percent of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock-car race teams. More than 200 businesses in Cabarrus County support the motorsports industry, which employs nearly 20,000 people in the region.
"We also applaud the efforts of these industrious students at Mooresville Elementary and congratulate them on their hard work toward getting this legislation through the government," Smith said.
The measure now moves on to the North Carolina House. If passed, North Carolina will join other U.S. states with an official state sport, including Alaska (dog mushing); Colorado (snowboarding and skiing);
Massachusetts (basketball); Minnesota (hockey); and South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming (rodeo).
The two biggest weeks in all of sports kicks-off this May in Charlotte with the NASCAR Rev'd Up Concert on May 18 with Gary Allan and Josh Kelley at 4:00 p.m., at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Charlotte Motor Speedway