Feb. 3, 2016
The approval this week of an agreement for management of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca marks the beginning of a new era for the iconic raceway and its world-renowned events, making the events now entirely County-owned. It was reported elsewhere as a two-year agreement, but County sources confirm that it is, in fact, a three-year management agreement between the County and SCRAMP. No other entity is involved in the agreement.
SCRAMP has run the track since its inception in 1957. Monterey County has owned the track and property since it was deeded from the federal government in 1974. Over the years, the County has partnered with the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP), a non-profit corporation, as its concessionaire to manage the track and develop events, using both long-term and month-to-month agreements.
Last year, the County began a Request for Proposal process for a new, long-term concessionaire for the track and recreation area, which includes 365-day/year camping facilities, a gun range, and a BMX track. That effort continues, with three viable bidders still a part of the process. However, to meet the immediate needs of the track and preserve the important events enthusiasts and the community rely on, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors approved a three-year agreement with SCRAMP for management of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This management agreement ensures a robust 2017 racing season as planning for future seasons continues.
The agreement reached this week was preceded by two settlement agreements which resolved financial issues between the County and SCRAMP and paved the way for an overall change of ownership of all tangible and intellectual properties related to the track. A settlement agreement reached in September, 2016 resolved outstanding debt issues between the County and SCRAMP and in a second agreement in December, 2016, SCRAMP transferred its intellectual properties (events, event names, naming rights, logos and the like) to the County. These two agreements together reconciled all outstanding financial issues between the parties.
The management agreement now in place reflects the outcome of these agreements. County ownership of all aspects of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca provides a new level of oversight and ensures fiscal stability while incorporating SCRAMP’s expertise in managing track events and other parts of the recreation area.
The next steps for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will be the selection of a long-term agreement for the historic facility. The new management agreement reached this week is structured is such a way that SCRAMP can be a partner in any transition the County may require toward a long-term arrangement.
Instead of the five events to which SCRAMP had been limited in the past, there are now seven events scheduled for the upcoming season, including the new Ferrari Challenge, May 12-14 and Spring Classic May 19-21 (vintage race cars 1967-1984). Returning races are the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship Geico Motorcycle U.S. Round, July 7-9; Monterey Pre-Reunion August 12-13; the iconic Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, August 17-20; Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, Sept. 21-14; and Pirelli World Challenge, Oct, 12-15.
Beside the paid staff of some 40 individuals, SCRAMP’s personnel swells by more than another 200 volunteers on race days.