Charlotte Motor Speedway refiles lawsuit against Concord | News
CONCORD, (WBTV) - Charlotte Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith and his company, Speedway Motorsports, have refiled a lawsuit against the City of Concord and Cabarrus County in the ongoing battle over how much money the city owes Smith, and when it's due.
At issue is $80 million in upgrades and incentives promised to Smith in October 2007 to persuade him not to move the track from Concord.
Smith had threatened to move CMS when city leaders balked about his development of zMax Dragway. After weeks of tense negotiation, and against a backdrop of threats to leave town by Smith, Concord and Cabarrus County leaders came up with an $80 million incentive plan that involved road improvements and upgrades to services in and near the speedway complex.
No formal agreement with a timeline for payment was established. Smith believed most of the money, $60 million, would be paid would be reimbursed within three years and the remaining $20 million within six years, but city and county leaders said that the there was no such timetable and that the money could be paid back over a period of up to forty years.
Smith filed the original lawsuit in September of 2009, but then dropped it last June as the two sides negotiated.
A source close to the parties told WBTV that the suit was refiled ahead of a window that would have taken the lawsuit off the table as an option. Under North Carolina law, if a suit is dropped by a party, it must be refiled within one year if it is to remain active.
Negotiations continue to take place between Smith and the civic leaders to reach a settlement in the issue.
SMI is asking for a judgment requiring the governments to take all necessary action to formalize an agreement and for damages for breach of the agreement.
The Speedway is represented by attorney Jared Gardner. A representative from the City of Concord said that no comment would be made about the suit or any negotiations.
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