A three-year deal was struck between the local Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) and Monterey County that settles the financial disputes between the two and keeps Laguna Seca controlled by the local group which built the track, reports Racer. It’s the end of a long, nasty fight over control of one of America’s most famous race tracks.
The new three-year property and event management contract leaves SCRAMP, who originally built the track in 1957 and has managed it ever since, in control of the facility’s day-to-day operations.
The dispute between the two entities became so nasty that at one point, Monterey County went behind SCRAMP’s back to court the International Speedway Corporation to run the track instead. ISC withdrew their bid to take over management of the facility as many racers voiced support for SCRAMP against a county they believe has been too restrictive on Lagnua Seca’s use.
Additionally, the county paid $1 million to SCRAMP and forgave a $93,978 payment due for some of SCRAMP’s assets, including “intellectual property rights including the name ‘Laguna Seca,’ internet domain names, naming rights and sponsorship rights to events such as Classic Car Week, buildings, vehicles and furniture,” per the Monterey Herald.
In return, SCRAMP will pay $687,956 to the county to settle a concessions fees dispute, $500,000 of which comes from Mazda’s titular sponsorship of the track, according to Racer. These funds will be used for capital improvement projects that are mutually agreed upon by SCRAMP and the county.
The only downside is that this is merely a three-year agreement, and Monterey County will continue its search for a long-term concessionaire—meaning that SCRAMP isn’t entirely out of the woods yet. However, as Racer notes, with more assets in control of the county themselves, there should be fewer reasons for a monetary dispute to arise again.
The agreement was made to ensure the 60th anniversary season of the track goes off smoothly, with both parties already working on a new naming rights deal (read: more cash). While they’re at it with all this problem-solving goodwill and cooperation, may we also suggest raising the oppressive noise limit for track days? Thanks in advance!