Friday, April 3, 2009


Don’t expect the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to get a second race anytime soon, but they will be getting one of the biggest events in the sport….the NASCAR Sprint Cup banquet awards ceremony and postseason celebration. NASCAR and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority have finally reached an agreement to bring the awards ceremony to Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authorty[LVCVA] president Rossie Ralenkotter confirmed the move yesterday afternoon, saying deals need to be finalized but it will be moving. The remaining decisions are if the city gets three or a five year contract, also what degree Las Vegas will be included in the advertising and marketing references to the event.

The LVCVA will pay NASCAR between $500,000 and $1 million for reach year of their contract. However, NASCAR has the option to select the venue for the banquet which will likely be held on December 4th, 2009.

The event honors the Top 10 Drivers from the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Every key person in NASCAR including top executives from NASCAR, sponsors, drivers, and crew chiefs attend the banquet. Speedway Motorsports Inc, the owner of Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been lobbying for the awards banquet for the past two years.

NASCAR first moved the awards banquet from Daytona Beach to New York City in 1981. The move was successful at first, but high priced hotels in Manhattan and the cold weather suddenly dampened the mood. Racers, sponsors, and media traveling to the five-day event had a hard time traveling up there from North Carolina. Even last year the “Victory Lap” was canceled due to traffic congestion.

NASCAR is the second major professional sport to move their awards ceremony to Las Vegas. The LVCVA recently negotiated a three year deal to bring the NHL awards to the Palms on June 18th.