In a recent article posted on speedsports.com, economic and financial consultant Tim Frost shared how motorsports sponsorship continues to grow. We’re not surprised. It’s one more justification behind our decision to build Attesa.
Almost 10 years ago, before the economic crash of ’08, I wanted to build a private race track community and club that would attract not only members but pro and amateur racing events, assuming the motorsports industry was going to remain strong and viable.
I wanted it to be near Casa Grande, in the heart of the Arizona Sun Corridor, with easy access to Phoenix and Tucson via Interstate 10 and San Diego via Interstate 8.
At the end of 2014 I partnered with Dan Erickson, who had a similar vision, to form Danrick Builders, the company behind Attesa. Dan was and is a racer, usually competing in a Formula Mazda open wheel car. I used to own Phoenix International Raceway, and like my partner I have always been into speed, performance cars and motorsports.
The vision I had in 2007 changed dramatically after Dan and I put our heads together. As of today, Attesa is going to be bigger and better than either of us originally conceived on our own, covering four square miles with two 2.8-mile road circuits, a 300-room hotel and convention center, industrial and residential and commercial neighborhoods, a solar canopied plaza offering 1.2 million sq. ft. of activity space and even our own 6,500 ft. private air strip. Plus, a motorhome resort, automobile branding center and a multi-use area suitable for everything from motocross and rodeos to off-road racing and Coachella-style concerts.
But the only way Attesa happens is if it makes financial sense. And according to Elliott D. Pollack & Company, perhaps the West’s leading real estate and economic consulting firm, it does.
We’ve invested over $21 million and we’re still six months away from breaking ground. Because that’s the cost of doing everything right the first time on a project like this, like commissioning a report that shows that when finished Attesa will generate $1.8 billion per year in economic impact to Pinal County. And that’s after generating $1.2 billion during construction.
Another indication that we’re on the right track is how much global corporations are spending on motorsports sponsorships. Including how that number keeps rising.
Tim Frost of Frost Motorsports, another consulting company on the Danrick Builders team, writes a Business of Speed blog for speedsport.com. A recent post noted how, according to the IEG Sponsorship Report, global spending on motorsports sponsorship is expected to reach $5.75 billion this year.
If that number is reached this will be the fifth year in a row sponsorship spending has increased by about three percent.
Motorsports represents about 9.2 percent of the more than $62 billion spent on sports and entertainment sponsorship internationally, including Formula 1 – the biggest motorsports series in the world. Formula 1 is all about technology. While we have no plans to host an F1 race at Attesa our entire community is centered on a motorsports technology core. So yes, we could see Grand Prix drivers, teams, cars and component manufacturers right here in Arizona.
Other signs of growth in motorsports: Honda has announced it is going IMSA WeatherTech sports car racing next season with Team Penske. Two-time Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya will be one of the drivers.
IndyCar is looking to add two more full time teams in 2018. This past weekend they raced at Road America for the second time since the end of their eight-year hiatus. Last year the IndyCar event set an all-time high attendance record.
Andretti Autosport, an organization that is already racing in IndyCar, Indy Lights, Formula E and Global Rallycross, is also pursuing participation in IMSA next season with a manufacturer supported program.
Another trend Frost mentioned is how track seating is being changed. In the past few years, American oval tracks, which mainly host NASCAR races, have removed more than 35% of their permanent grandstand seats. They are replacing the seating with motorhome parking, camping spaces and corporate hospitality or event areas.
Attesa is planning on 25,000 permanent seats plus generous space for motorhome parking around the main circuit and almost 100 acres dedicated to camping and RV parking.
We’re proud to boast we’ve anticipated a lot of the solutions major racing venues are implementing to adjust to an ever changing sport that, regardless of what you may hear, is still growing.
And that’s great news for Attesa and all of central Arizona.