The Milwaukee Mile
The Milwaukee Mile, located at the Wisconsin State Fair, is one of the country's most famous racing facilities. The track hosted NASCAR Busch Series races in 1984 and '85, then rejoined the schedule in 1993 under the new management of Carl Haas.
Since the 1870s there has been racing on what is now known as the Milwaukee Mile. Located on land that was originally a horse farm, the track was used for training and racing thoroughbreds. In 1891 the farm was purchased by the Agricultural Society of the State of Wisconsin to create a permanent site for the State Fair.
The first auto race was staged at the site on Sept. 11, 1903. William Jones of Chicago, driving a 30 horsepower Columbia, won the five-mile contest. Because of that, The Milwaukee Mile proudly claims a heritage as the oldest operating major speedway in the world.
Horses and autos shared the track until the mile oval was paved for the first time in 1954. The two inner tracks were removed in 1967 when the mile surface was repaved and the pit area was expanded over the space occupied by the two shorter ovals.
From the first AAA-sanctioned stock car race in 1948 to today's annual NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division event, The Milwaukee Mile's racing history is impressive.
NASCAR's first visit to the track came in 1984. The mile became part of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule in its inaugural season of 1995.
Location: 1-94 west to 84th St. exit, go south. Left into State Fair Park. Visit the track's web site at email@example.com
FUTURE OF MILWAUKEE MILE IN QUESTION
December 18, 2008
Copyright 2008 MediaVentures
Milwaukee, Wis. - The future of motor sports at the Milwaukee Mile is in doubt after Wisconsin State Fair Park officials announced that the investor group now promoting events at the track plans to get out of the business by December 2010.
Milwaukee Mile Holdings LLC is led by two Californians, Frank J. Andrews and David O. Stroud, but includes several prominent local investors, including local philanthropists Chris Abele and Dan Bader, Ulice Payne Jr., chairman of the Bradley Center Sports and Entertainment Corp., and auto dealer David Hobbs.
The group had asked the board to reopen its licensing agreement because it was losing money. The board said no, prompting the group to exercise its right to opt out by December 2010.
Milwaukee Mile has said that, since taking over the historic racetrack in December 2005, it lost $2.1 million in 2006 and $1.5 million in 2007. This year it expects to lose $1.2 million.
The group's latest proposal called for dropping the annual license fee, estimated at $700,000 this year, and for the right to develop a parcel near the Pettit National Ice Center.
Earlier this year, the board agreed to lower the annual license fee but also reduced the number of days Milwaukee Mile can promote events at the track. At the time the board indicated it would not redo the agreement again.
In the meantime, former racing promoters Dominic Giuffre and his brother, Frank, say they are looking at getting back into the business. Dominic Giuffre said that his brother met this week with State Fair board Chairman Susan Crane, Craig Barkelar, the fair's chief financial officer, and state Rep. Scott Gunderson, who also sits on the fair board.
Milwaukee Mile officials said at least four races were still scheduled for next season, beginning with the Indycar Series from May 29-31. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
MILWAUKEE TRACK MAY LOSE $2 MILLION
June 24, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Milwaukee, Wis. - The cost of debt service may put the Milwaukee Mile $2 million in the red this year. The track is expected to report $81,000 over expenditures before the cost of debt is added, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
No major racing events are scheduled at the Milwaukee Mile this year. The State Fair Park Board is studying how to bring major racing back to the historic racetrack, but it has been unable to find a promoter.
An audit also reported the fair had a surplus of $828,000 in fiscal 2008-'09. The surplus reflects higher fair attendance and additional revenue from parking and concessions.
Still, the fair had an accumulated cash deficit of $7.8 million as of June 30, 2009, the newspaper said.