The city of Charlotte has made a request to banks to write off a significant portion of construction loans for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
The city, according to the Charlotte Observer, wants to make a $5 million payment to Bank of America and Wells Fargo as part of a proposal to take care of debt from the Hall of Fame. In turn, the banks would then write off the rest of the loans, which tally $17.6 million after principal and interest.
From the Observer:
The proposal is part of a city plan to get out of about $22.8 million of NASCAR hall obligations. If the deal is approved, the hall would also be given a break from future payments owed to NASCAR.
“The whole goal is to bring the hall into a break-even position,” said Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble.
The City Council, which heard the proposal Monday, will vote on the loan modifications next week. But even if the agreement is approved, the hall is still estimated to lose between $200,000 and $500,000 a year in the future.
In the proposal, NASCAR would also waive royalties that it was supposed to receive from the Hall of Fame. The two loans were part of funding for the museum that also included a hotel and motel tax. One of the loans was backed by the sale of commemorative bricks and sponsorships.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame lost $1.4 million in the previous fiscal year, down from $1.6 million the year before. So the quoted estimates are significantly below those numbers. However, lofty and unachievable goals have been touted for the Hall of Fame before. The original attendance goals for the museum were 850,000 people a year. From June 2013-2014, the Hall of Fame had approximately 170,000 paid admissions.
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