The date of June 28, 2013 is set to go down in Corvette history books as the day the National Corvette Museum (NCM), along with related stakeholders and constituencies, held the groundbreaking ceremony of the NCM Motorsports Park at the future site of the park, roughly be a mile from GM’s Bowling Green plant in Kentucky that assembles the Corvette.
The well-attended event attracted Corvette enthusiasts as well as community and state leaders, as it should have: the $20 million, 184-acre, dual-track park located across from the museum off I-65, is expected to have a significant economic impact on the Bowling Green area. In fact, the NCM forecasts the park to attract up to 80,000 visitors and $15 million in tourism and racing revenues annually.
Aside from serving various recreational and educational uses, the track will be used by the Corvette Racing team for testing purposes. “Corvette Racing has long hoped for just such an outstanding track with exciting features,” said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan, who was on hand for the ceremony. “Our drivers and many proud Corvette owners are looking forward to experiencing this premier motorsports facility. We enjoyed every minute of our participation in the design process.”
Jack Matukas, the museum’s chair of the board of directors, was also enthusiastic about the impact of the motorsports park, saying that when it opens next year, “our region will not only see increased visits and events sponsored by Corvette owners and fans, but from just about every different sports car club in America.”
And the chair of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Brad Howard, said the park “will turbo-charge Bowling Green’s already-powerful position in the high-performance motorsports world.”
Reflecting on the efforts to make the motorsports park a looming reality, the NCM’s executive director Wendell Strode praised the thousands of contributors for their “outpouring of financial support,” including the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau, which will enable the park to be ready for use by the museum’s 20th anniversary Labor Day weekend 2014.
Here’s the 15-minute-long stream of the groundbreaking event:
The National Corvette Museum purchased 184 acres of land to build the motorsports park, which will be home to two circuits, East and West. Both can be configured in several ways, ranging from a high speed loop of 1.96 miles to an extended 3.15 mile technical course, which will encompass features of the Corvette Racing team’s favorite and most challenging track — the Le Mans circuit.
Now, who can’t wait until Labor Day weekend 2014?