A plan to bring NASCAR and PGA to WNY

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For my Master of Science final project, I was asked to come up a project for a nonprofit organization. I’m a unique person who takes up tough projects and there was only one organization that I felt was worthwhile and that is the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

Like many of you, my knowledge of the parks was limited to what I heard in the media, which was one of the historic systems in all of America.

Through my own research this proved to be very true. Fredrick Law Olmsted teamed up with Calvert Vaux to come up with a design for a new park in New York City. They were picked for the project and currently the park is one of the most renowned parks in America as it’s known as New York City’s Central Park.

From there Olmsted was asked to come to Buffalo, N.Y. and design a three park system. He did that in Delaware Park, Front Park and Martin Luther King Park. However, what is notable about this is what he didn’t accomplish.

Olmsted was asked to come back a decade later by the leaders of the City of Buffalo. His first recommendation was a park on the waterfront, but the city rejected the idea. Instead, Olmsted came up with three more parks in Cazenovia Park, South Park and Riverside Park, which brought the total up to six, but is still the oldest park system of all of the United States.

The one thing that links all of these parks together is that four of the six parks have a golf course system and each park is connected by a series of specific roads. The only park to not have one is Riverside and Front Park. With help of the City of Buffalo, Erie County and the PGA; the Olmsted Parks can be redesigned to be able to host a PGA tour event every year.

Yes, an event like this would require the closure of the roads that connect the parks, but it would present a unique situation to professional golfers that they wouldn’t get anywhere on the planet Earth and a needed boost to the economy of Western New York.

My other idea is a race track for NASCAR. The closest NASCAR race is held in Watkins Glen, N.Y., which is several hours away to the Southeast. However, this idea as it’s very realistic if you have followed the proposed sites for a new stadium for a new Buffalo Bills.

Outside a major renovation for Ralph Wilson Stadium, it’s been proposed that a new stadium should be built in downtown Buffalo and along Buffalo’s waterfront. Currently, there is one affiliated NASCAR track in Holland, N.Y. and another that isn’t in Lancaster National Speedway in Lancaster, N.Y.

To see the evidence of how big NASCAR, visit the McKinley Mall where not even feet from Footlocker is a stand that advertises Holland Motor Speedway. The thing that will make both of these projects work is another work by Olmsted that is in WNY. That work is in Niagara Falls State Park.

My biggest surprise in my research was that Olmsted later designed Niagara Falls State Park. Millions of tourists world wide visit the parks and an expansion of the Olmsted Park system to include Niagara Falls is common sense.  The logistics of who takes care of what will have be worked out, but a good marketing plan touting NASCAR as the second biggest racing league to Formula One will bring tourists visiting the Niagara Falls to the City of Buffalo.

n the end, Western New York has been looking to bolster its economy through the tourism industry. A solid marketing plan including these ideas would bring millions of dollars to the Western New York Economy.

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