Curtis Francois has finalized the local purchase of Gateway Motorsports Park.
“This is a great day for local sports fans and for the St. Louis region,” said Francois, a real estate developer, retired race car driver and owner of Gateway Motorsports Park. “Our region needs significant sporting, entertainment and cultural venues to remain relevant, and Gateway MSP is among the finest in the country.”
“Without a buyer willing to take on the risk of ownership, the assets on the property would have been sold as scrap,” said City of Madison Mayor John Hamm. “Gateway MSP is a first-class asset to our region, and it would have been devastating to our community to lose something as valuable simply due to corporate restructuring and a poor economy.”
As a result, Gateway and sister facilities in Memphis and Nashville were shuttered. To complicate matters, the property on which Gateway Motorsports Park resided was owned by a half-dozen property owners and leased by Dover.
Francois’ experience in putting together complex real estate deals over the years proved invaluable to the success of the revitalization of the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the region.
“Getting these local property owners to agree on a common approach and sale was certainly challenging, but these are great folks who were committed to seeing this track survive and thrive.”
Gateway MSP has historically been a very popular facility for major motorsports sanctioning bodies due to its proximity to Indianapolis, which is where many major motorsports companies and top drivers are headquartered.
The facility is on track to generate nearly 45 full-time jobs and hundreds of part-time jobs, in addition to tax revenue and revenue for surrounding businesses such as hotels, restaurants, etc. that were on the verge of going bust when the track closed in 2010.
Plans are under way for development of a nationally sanctioned karting track scheduled for a summer 2013 opening.
The Gateway Challenge program, which is launching this year, allows just about anyone to experience the thrill of racing on an awesome track.
The oval track will host the premier Silver Crown event in June for the first time since 2001 at Gateway.
For more information, visit www.gatewaymsp.com.