Kansas City is changing…

Posted on: April 26, 2010 | Comments(9) | Race Tracks | By: Dave

Six years ago when I first visited Kansas Speedway for an IZOD IndyCar Series race, there was a McDonald’s and the racetrack’s yellow-blue checkerboard seats. That’s about it. Want BBQ? Drive to KC (Masterpiece in Overland Park; also the abbreviation for Kansas City, Mo., about 25 minutes away).

Today, despite the continued sluggish economy, acreage at the confluence of I-70 and I-435 in Wyandotte County continues to be red hot with retail, entertainment and restaurant development.

The latest structures being erected are an 18,000-seat stadium for the Wizards of MLS just off France Family Drive (positioned nicely near the massive Cabela’s, Nebraska Furniture Mart and family-themed water park Great Wolf  Lodge) scheduled to open in 2011 and a 100,000-square-foot casino/hotel complex that will overlook Turn 2. Starting in 2012, maybe you’ll be able to place a wager on the race while you’re watching it live.

The Wizard stadium under construction

The Wizard stadium under construction

A hotel in the framing stages across the street from the new stadium will make it an even dozen in the vicinity (that first trip we had to stay near the airport, about 30-minute drive). More than two dozen chain eating establishes exist – from Ted’s Montana Grill to our Texas-trip must-have Taco Bueno to another favorite, Cold Stone Creamery). A Walmart recently joined Target and Best Buy as big-box retailers, and there are a number of higher-end shopping places in the Legends outdoor mall.

Rendering of the new Wizards stadium

Rendering of the new Wizards stadium

No longer is Kansas Speedway out in the middle of nowhere. The area is a destination, with the racing facility a lightly-used property with eye-catching (if slightly tacky) blue-yellow checkerboard seats.


There are 9 comments for this post.

  1. BP on April 26, 2010 11:14 am

    Glad to hear things are going up around the Speedway; sounds like all of the KC area is growing, with the Spring Center and Power & Light District really adding to the nightlife of Kansas City, too.

    The PLD is basically like Louisville’s 4th Street, or downtown Indy, which should entice some folks to staying downtown in Kansas City and making the 25-minute drive to the Speedway.

  2. Kansas City is changing… | Indycar on April 27, 2010 3:41 am
    Kansas City is changing… | Indycar

    [...] [...]

  3. ES on April 27, 2010 6:55 am

    For EXCELLENT BBQ visit Jack Stack Barbeque Downtown and for Mexican go to Jose Peppers … featured on the Food Network .. both are GREAT !

  4. joao ferreira on April 28, 2010 2:01 pm
    joao ferreira

    Falando em circuitos, que tal acrescentar outros circuitos como Phoenix International Racing, Auto Club Speedway, manter Richmond, entre outros???

  5. PGC on April 30, 2010 1:20 pm

    what is the friday schedule at the Kansas Speedway , has the rain caboshed the days practice and Quals. ?

  6. TShun on November 3, 2010 10:59 am

    You won’t be able to make a wager while watching the race live… Because IndyCar won’t be there!! Kansas went with 2 Nascar weekends and For that matter, IndyCar is leaving all of it’s mainstay tracks from 2000 to 2010- KS, Chicago, Miami, Calif., Phoenix. Kansas has a great showing of fans every year, too bad for Indycar that while growing the sport, they are leaving a lot behind.

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