Spending Money Locally

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Fritz Advertising Co. in Spring Arbor, Mich., has joined a long list of local and state companies Michigan International Speedway regularly does business with.

The agency located about 20 miles from the speedway has been awarded the first phase of a contract to build and install some of the track’s directional signage for the 1,400-acre property. The branded signage will help pedestrians, motorists and campers find their way in, out and around MIS.

Michigan International Speedway regularly does business with numerous Michigan-based businesses. In all, the speedway has spent more than $400 million with Michigan businesses, vendors and service providers throughout the state since 2002.

“As a proud corporate citizen of the state of Michigan we are excited to be able to put our money where our mouth is,” speedway President Roger Curtis said. “We are proud of the fact that our $400 million economic impact is a real infusion of money into the state, as exemplified by the use of Michigan vendors for many of our capital investments for 2008 and beyond.”

The speedway released a report in October that stated the track contributes about $400 million to the local economy. The speedway also announced it would infuse $10 million in capital investments back into the Irish Hills facility in 2008, which will feature many projects ranging from updated turn one seats to a new infield scoreboard.

“Working with MIS has been a huge factor in the growth of our business over the past four years,” Brian Slusarski, Slusarski Excavating & Paving of Adrian, Mich., said. “Working with the speedway is always one of our top priorities and we wouldn’t have grown the way we have without them. Our relationship with them is very important to us.”

Vendors help keep the two-mile racetrack up and running all year long, to include the track’s two NASCAR weekends. These companies range from 24-hour security vendor ADA Security in Adrian, Mich., to printing needs provided by Hamblin Company in Tecumseh, Mich., to construction by O’Harrow Construction Co. in Jackson, Mich.

“We’ve been doing work for MIS since 1979. Our relationship with MIS has been fabulous and we have always enjoyed doing great, professional work with them. It’s meant a lot to our business to work with them,” Tim Wirth, senior project manager for O’Harrow Construction said.

Michigan International Speedway will spend about $10 million in the coming months to continue enhancing the speedway based on feedback from the fans. The latest round of improvements will be completed by the start of the track’s 40th season of racing in June.

“I’m proud that many of these projects we are doing for 2008 are being constructed by local area companies,” Curtis said. “It’s seems only logical that we spend the money for these projects with area vendors who also support the Michigan economy. Additionally, spending money with these vendors also helps in the retention and creation of jobs at these businesses.”

Besides the signage project awarded to Fritz, other projects on tap for 2008 include:

  • A three-sided LED leaderboard. The scoreboard, higher than the 130-foot Scoring Tower, will replace three scoreboards at MIS, two in the turns and one in the center and be visible from all grandstand seats, as well as several of the infield camping sites. The old center scoreboard only showed the top-five positions, a far cry from the new leaderboard display which can track all 43 drivers in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The scoreboard can also be programmed to show video and graphics displays, setting the industry standard for motorsports venues.
  • Some 300 new campsites sites with electric hookups will be added to the Graves

    Farm Campground, bringing the total number of campsites at MIS to nearly 9,000.

  • A permanent restroom/shower building will be built in the Graves Farm Campground.
  • Michigan International Speedway is moving forward with additional improved seating. Two additional grandstands in Turn One have been torn down and will soon be replaced with a grandstand that has wider seats, seatbacks and more leg room. The project began last year when one of the old “silver” grandstands was torn down and replaced with seats that are four inches wider than seats in the old grandstands. The project does not add seats, but merely replaces old seats.
  • Lastly, as part of the grandstand replacement project, MIS will be acquiring more than 32,000 grandstand seats from the former Pikes Peak International Raceway for future “silver” grandstand replacement.

Mark your calendars! Sports fans who are interested in attending a race at Michigan International Speedway this summer can purchase tickets for the 2008 season, which include the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in June and August, on Saturday, Dec. 15 by calling the MIS Ticket Hotline at 800-354-1010 or by visiting MISpeedway.com.

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