MILFORD, NEW YORK, MAY 2, 2015 – A few weeks ago, the New York State budget for 2015-16 was passed in Albany. The legislature included $50 million in the state budget to upgrade the New York State Fairgrounds, and the next step in the state’s plan is to have a public hearing to receive public feedback on how the project should be executed.
In March 2015, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney mentioned this funding in her State of the County Address. She said that she requested the funding to build a hockey facility, equestrian center, and RV park. To do this, the main grandstands and race track would need to be removed to ensure sufficient space for the new structures and attractions. This would inevitably eliminate auto racing at the fairgrounds on the mile dirt track known as “The Moody Mile”.
Race fans have been working in unison, sending messages to Albany, Onondaga County, and NYS Fair Officials. The message is clear: race fans feel that tradition matters, and they want the tradition of dirt racing to continue at the fairgrounds.
“Generations of race fans have been coming to the fairgrounds for decades.” says Brian Pokorny, owner of SaveTheMoodyMile.com and Facebook page “Save Super Dirt Week at the NYS Fairgrounds”. “For the past 43 years, Super Dirt Week at the fairgrounds has been the crown jewel of dirt modified racing. It has brought race fans from New York, Canada, and the East Coast together. Moving this event to another facility just wouldn’t be the same. In addition, there is no other facility in New York State that could host this event. The closest facilities that could accommodate the over 60,000 attendees would be over 500 miles away.”
Super Dirt Week has a huge impact on the Central New York economy. Thousands of race fans make the greater Syracuse area their home for the week, spending money in stores, hotels, pubs, and restaurants. Several satellite racing events held during the week allow racers to explore the area and other tracks.
Since the budget has been officially announced, race fans are asking that the funds be allocated to renovate the grandstands and to preserve the one-mile dirt track so that Super Dirt Week and other race events can be held for years to come.
On May 6, 2015, the public hearing will be held in the Martha Eddy room in the Art & Home Center Building at the NYS Fairgrounds at 6pm. Pokorny urges race fans to attend the event to send a unified message to save the Moody Mile and the grandstands. Pokorny also asks that attendees remain calm and respectful to ensure that the cause’s voice is truly heard. At the hearing, Pokorny will present signatures of 1,200+ race fans that support saving the fairgrounds and race track.
NYS Fair officials have setup an e-mail account so that absent supporters can voice their opinions and thoughts, email@example.com .
About the involvement of lawmakers in the decision-making process of the fate of The Moody Mile, Pokorny said, “Dirt racing in NYS is a hidden economical force that I don’t think most lawmakers are aware of. I invite lawmakers to visit their local dirt track to see what all the excitement is about.”
About Save The Moody Mile: Save The Moody Mile is a grassroots effort to save the iconic NYS Fairgrounds Race Track and main grandstands.
Contact: Brian Pokorny
PO Box 243
Cooperstown, NY 13326