Loudon speedway neighbors file paperwork in Supreme Court appeal 

  • 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 staff) Elizabeth Frantz

Monitor staff
Published: 8/14/2018 3:08:55 PM

Neighbors of New Hampshire Motor Speedway who are suing the track over its plan to hold a country music festival are one step closer to seeing their day in the state’s high court.

Arnold Alpert, Judith Elliot and James Snyder, all of Canterbury, filed their first arguments with the state Supreme Court on Monday, maintaining that a superior court judge was wrong when he said a 1989 settlement between the track and a concerned group of neighbors did not limit the speedway from holding a concert on other parts of the property.

The state’s highest court accepted the case earlier this month and both sides are moving along an accelerated timeline at the request of the racetrack, which hopes to hold a music festival in 2019.

The original settlement limiting concerts at the track 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 set regulations on the time racing can occur at the track and 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 International Speedway except in conjunction with racing events.”

The speedway successfully argued that the word “currently” in the agreement indicates that document applied only to the racetrack that was proposed at that time and not to the lots on the southern end of the property, acquired by the speedway later in 1995, where the concerts are expected to be held.

But the neighbors, who are planning to represent themselves in court, say that it had broader implications.

“The Settlement Agreement signed in 1989 placed limits on the activities of a large commercial enterprise in an otherwise quiet, rural area: no racing after 7:30 p.m., and no concerts that are not associated with racing events,” the brief filed Monday reads. “If the Speedway prevails, the limits placed on it by the 1989 agreement will unravel.”

The country music festival at New Hampshire Motor Speedway would be promoted by Live Nation, a global entertainment company headquartered in Beverly Hills, Calif. The speedway estimates it would bring in 20,000 visitors in August 2019.

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