City Of Topeka To Buy Heartland Park Racing, Seek New Operator For Sprawling Facility

City Of Topeka To Buy Heartland Park Racing, Seek New Operator For Sprawling Facility

I recently had the chance to work at Heartland Park Topeka for the weekend when the NHRA tour rolled through town. I was struck by several things at the track. The first was the sheer size of the place. It is in the top three of the “most expansive” tracks I have ever visited and virtually requires a golf cart if you want to travel around and chat without taking up 6-8 hours of your day in strolling time. Then again, given the incredible size of the place maybe birds with notes tied to their legs wold be the ticket to speedy communication. We bring all of this up because a news story recently surfaced suggesting that the city of Topeka is proposing to buy the property from current operator and run the track themselves (or sub contract someone else to actually manage the place.)

The second major thing I noticed was that the place was nice but getting shabby. It is going to requires some paint, elbow grease, and a dedicated/enthusiastic operator who understands what the place needs to be back on the map as a world class strip. One obstacle no operator will be able to easily overcome is the previously mentioned sprawling nature of the joint. It is about a half mile walk to the pits from some spectators which may not actually be the longest stroll one would have to sake to see the action that so many fans love to watch intently.

We’re not sure why this deal came about or how it came about but the fact is that it looks as though the city will be taking control of the facility. Here’s to hoping that they know what they are getting into, that they hire a competent manager to take the reigns and steer the place, and that they provide enough funding for upkeep and improvements to continue. Here’s to hoping that they DO NOT eff up any of the three basic elements of the place’s future. Has a city ever successfully operated a race track before? Most seem to have trouble operating a budget let alone a track. We’ll keep you posted on this interesting and fresh story –



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5 thoughts on “City Of Topeka To Buy Heartland Park Racing, Seek New Operator For Sprawling Facility

  1. ksj2

    “IF” they listen to the local racers and fans input is a must.The present owners are behind on the “STAR” Bond payments.The present owners have pissed off fans and racers alike with their attitude.The city needs to listen to someone like Bill Bader,Scott Gardner to see what it takes to be successful.

  2. scooter

    dont do it, happened here in spokane back in 09 and it has been a total and complete disaster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! place sucks sobad, has been through 3 operators sinc e09′ and not a damn one of them cared about anything BUT money. so as you can imagine prices went UP, quality went DOWN.

  3. Chip

    Well, they can’t bitch about noise, considering the AFB next door. Unless one of the most wealthy and influential families in town moves in a half mile away and decides the cars are too noisy for their tea parties. Then all bets are off. Anyone else see the CF coming?

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