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NHMS: Judge sides with speedway in country music concert case

  • Crowds disperse at the conclusion of the ISM Connect 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Elizabeth Frantz / Monitor file


Monitor staff
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

New Hampshire Motor Speedway says that a Merrimack County Superior Court judge has ruled that the race track can to hold a country music festival on its grounds, despite complaints from abutting property owners.

The speedway said in a press release Wednesday that a judge found speedway property purchased after 1989 and zoned for concerts and outdoor events is not included in a settlement agreement that restricted concerts to the speedway itself. NHMS is looking to put on a three-day music festival in one of its parking lots in partnership with Live Nation.

The settlement states that the speedway “shall not permit any musical concerts of any type or description to be held on the premises currently known as New Hampshire Speedway except in conjunction with racing events.”

The agreement was made after Bob Bahre purchased the speedway, formerly Bryar Motorsports Park, with the intention of expanding it into a multipurpose track in 1988. It was signed by representatives of New Hampshire Speedway Inc., eight “concerned racetrack neighbors” and four Loudon planning board members.

Three neighbors of the speedway – Arnold Alpert, Judith Elliot and James Snyder – sued the racetrack in December, claiming the plan to hold a music festival violates a 1989 settlement between the speedway and the town of Loudon.

NHMS said the concert will take place in 2019.

“This is absolutely terrific news for music fans, local business and for tourism in the Capitol Region,” said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “Many thanks to the Court for a thorough review of the claims. We have our approvals from the Town of Loudon and we are ecstatic to move forward with this event. This has been a long time in the making and we cannot wait to put on one heck of a show.”