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Track Talk: Iowa Speedway thrives on diversity of events

Published: Thursday, April 4, 2013 11:10 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, April 4, 2013 11:11 a.m. CDT

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Like every successfully operated motorsports entertainment facility on Earth, Iowa Speedway schedules a diversity of event activities in addition to our annual line-up of marquee racing events. And there’s really no mystery in that at all. 

Providing quality events at a good value in a highly competitive entertainment marketplace is the reason for this diversity, and thriving race track facilities like Iowa Speedway must promote suitable non-traditional events in addition to the core racing shows in order to give our customers the widest variety of entertainment options.

That may seem very simple and straightforward in concept, but it’s a lot more complicated when put into practice.

Successful non-traditional events require forward-thinking vision and a complete understanding of the opportunities and limitations that a facility offers, as well as the preferences of potential customers. Fortunately, our entire team at Iowa Speedway has a crystal clear vision for both our facility and marketplace.  

Every week, a significant amount of our time is devoted to the process of attracting and scheduling events where the facility is leased to a third-party promoter, as well as those non-traditional events that we would promote ourselves. This planning process includes events utilizing the racetrack, our parking areas, concert stage, and indoor facilities such as the Newton Club.

The net result is that we are continually adding new events to an already impressive array of racing and non-racing activities at ‘America’s Place to Race.' And both the track and the people of central Iowa are the beneficiaries.

Of course, one of the biggest challenges for a predominantly outdoor entertainment venue is that all outdoor events are weather-dependent to one degree or another. 

Even football, played primarily outdoors in the fall and winter, can be restricted due to inclement weather. When the weather is fair, however, there is no better event promoter than a warm, sunny day or cool, balmy evening!

Regardless of other factors, weather significantly affects event planning. Our job is to minimize that role in all of our events, and to schedule activities such as meetings, banquets, wedding receptions, product displays and parties indoors in our Newton Club, Mediacom Media Center, or garage building facilities, where the weather factor is insignificant.

Take a quick look at the sidebar of this story for some examples of other events that we have on this year’s schedule, beginning in January with the 11th Annual Newton Bridal Fair, held in the 10,000 square foot indoor clubhouse portion of our Newton Club. In February, it was our 7th Annual Daytona 500 Party, also in the Newton Club, and in March the Iowa Law Enforcement Association conducted a driver training course on site.

And perhaps the most significant non-traditional event we have on the calendar this year is the second annual edition of our biker lifestyle extravaganza, the Iowa Grand Motorcycle Rally, on Thursday, May 30 through Sunday, June 2.

That’s just a small sampling of the many and varied events that we schedule here at Iowa Speedway during the course of a 12-month period — rain, snow or shine — and one of the many reasons that we are able to schedule activities at this facility on more than 200 days every year.  And certainly one of the hallmarks of success as a motorsports entertainment facility for which we are particularly proud.

But no doubt our core entertainment fare is, and will always be, the adrenaline-charged thrill of motorsports events on our ultra-fast, 7/8-mile tri-oval track. The racing season is just nine weeks from launch, and you still have time to grab season tickets or passes to any one of our five major event weekends this summer. It’s as easy as clicking on www.iowaspeedway.com and it’s going to be your ticket to fun!

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback about any of the Track Talk columns, or anything of interest to you here at Iowa Speedway. You may email me at carmstrong@iowaspeedway.com ... and I’ll see you at one of our many, many events this year!

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