Whether you're a fan of Nobles County Speedway racing action or have never had interest, Thursday's news that the track could be dark during the 2013 season is nevertheless disappointing.
Attendance during the 2012 racing campaign may have been down at first, but it indeed picked up as the season went on. Those numbers, of course, can't necessarily be blamed on anything directly related to the speedway, but rather on less-than-ideal weather. On a Sunday night with ideal conditions, the grandstand at the Nobles County Fairgrounds is often close to filled.
Putting crowd size aside, however, NCSI board member Trey Davis makes an excellent point when considering the potential lack of weekly racing in Worthington. "How many are getting gas on their way out of town?" he asked, while also pointing out that restaurants and other businesses also stand to benefit from people who come to the speedway. That money, theoretically, will head out of Worthington if fans decide to get their racing fix by driving to other nearby speedways instead.
At this point, we're not eager to cast blame as to why the speedway is unlikely to be operating. It is noteworthy, we think, that other car-racing venues are in similar straits as NCSI as far as unpaid taxes are concerned. Why is this the case? Perhaps these requirements weren't made nearly transparent enough from a level beyond, say, the local fair board?
The most critical detail is this: Auto racing is a community asset. Hopefully, it will get a green flag again before too long.