Edmonton International Raceway keen to extend city partnership

City grants $6,800 to EIR at regular council meeting Jan. 9

NASCAR action at Edmonton International Raceway July

One of the premier motor sports attractions in central Alberta has had its relationship extended with the City of Wetaskiwin to the tune of $6,800.

A representative of Edmonton international raceway, with its track located at 244047A Township Rd 464, just past Montgomery glens Golf Course, appeared before city council at their regular meeting Jan. 9 to not only request help from the city, but to thank them for that help in the past.

Spokesperson Loretta Thiering expressed EIR’s interest in continuing its partnership with the City of Wetaskiwin for the 2017 race season. An agenda memo featuring Thiering’s presentation noted EIR was requesting a funding contribution of $6,800 and was offering quite a bit in return.

“We are very excited about working with the City of Wetaskiwin within the Canada Day Planning Committee,” stated Thiering in her presentation.

“July 1st falls on a Saturday this year and everyone can expect a huge event planned at EIR for that event, celebrating 150 years with a 150 lap race event.

“A 12 foot by 24 foot billboard sign that we can promote the City of Wetaskiwin by driving fans at the race track to explore the City of Wetaskiwin’s website, Facebook page, WOW Wetaskiwin and more. This sign in already in place.

“EIR will provide the city with 2,500 event tickets that can be given out however you wish. These tickets will display the City of Wetaskiwin logo and website. In 2016 we had a return of 1,480 tickets redeemed at the track,” stated Thiering.

“EIR will schedule a City of Wetaskiwin Night at EIR. All City of Wetaskiwin employees and their families will be admitted free for that night. On the City of Wetaskiwin Night, we will invite local businesses to set up a display at the racetrack to promote their businesses and services to our fans. This would be at no charge.

“Our announcer will announce The City of Wetaskiwin as a partner and provide information to the fans at our weekly events. The City of Wetaskiwin would provide the information for these announcements and the city will receive 30 event tickets to the ‘Alberta Has NEW Energy NASCAR 300’ race on July 28 and 29.

“EIR will provide a logo and link from the EIR website to the City of Wetaskiwin website,” added Thiering.

Council heard during the meeting visitor information centre staff give out the complimentary tickets to tourists and visitors, plus the peace officers use them as rewards for the positive ticketing program.

Thiering told councilors that having 1,480 of the tickets redeemed was quite impressive.

She also gave council a brief overview of 2016.

“We significantly dropped the fee price of our front gate for spectators to only $5 for each person and kids 3 years and under free,” she stated in her presentation.

“We initially did this for the Month of May, 2016 and it was so successful that we continued for the majority of 2016, except for special events. This allowed entire families to come in and enjoy the entertainment at a very reasonable cost. It brought in thousands more spectators so we will continue this for 2017.

“Our 2016 race season was very successful. With our lower admission price we saw our attendance increase over 100 per cent on most evenings.”

Thiering noted in her presentation that not everything went according to plan in 2016. “Our struggle in 2016 was the weather which affected many outdoor events and certainly the farmers in this area. Our neighbour was still trying to get his crop finished in mid-November. Weather is something we can’t control,” she added.

Councilors unanimously approved a $6,800 grant for EIA.