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AuLukey

Concord to become third largest city in NC

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It's May. Know what that means? Concord's population is about to jump to nearly a quarter million people.

Between the Wednesday before the Nextel All Star Race and the Tuesday after the Coca Cola 600, Lowes Motor Speedway will host a total of 250,000 different people in its seats alone. The speedway's capacity is 167,000 but there are numerous events in which the same people do not go to all of them.

Concord's population of 56,000 added on top of the 167,000 doesn't seem to be enough to fill this quarter million resident estimate, but a lot of the population comes out of race related retail. On the corner of highway 29 and Speedway Blvd lies a dirt lot. During these two weeks, this lot becomes a dense, shopping mall sized, racing paraphernalia heaven. This added on top of the various other tourist activities like Speed Street generates enough population boom to boost Concord passed Greensboro, if even for a week.

This is the period where an enormous portion of Concord's economic power is generated. Now the only speedway in the Carolina's to host more than one race, many people camp out for miles out from the Lowes Motor Speedway in every direction. Every hotel in Concord is filled months in advance for the entire two week period. Tourism already is not foreign to Concord as just a mile away from Lowes Motor Speedway lays the state's largest tourist attraction, Concord Mills. The only time of the year that CM receives a larger portion of people to its tourism estimates is Christmas.

However, after the dust has settled and the checkered flags have all been waved, Concord's population recovers to a mere 56,000 in preparation for October when NASCAR returns.

With the completion of the Concord Convention Center and hotel by next year's races and the proposals for several more hotels along the boulevard, the population estimates for Speedweek in Concord are only going to get larger.

Just so you know, if you have made plans to come to any of the racing events, leave early and plan on getting home late, as a University City resident in Charlotte (just four miles from the Speedway) I can tell you the rest of this month is hell on earth for traffic.

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I find this time of the year is very exciting. I will indeed be at the 600, as well as heading to the speed street festivities

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On the corner of highway 29 and Speedway Blvd lies a dirt lot. During these two weeks, this lot becomes a dense, shopping mall sized, racing paraphernalia heaven. This added on top of the various other tourist activities like Speed Street generates enough population boom to boost Concord passed Greensboro, if even for a week.

It should be noted that part of this dirt lot is in Harrisburg and the rest is in unincorporated Cabarrus county, so it does not add to the Concord's population.

The city limits there is unusual because Harrisburg is a dry city. (re: no booze for you and me) The owners of the Speedway, as a result, petitioned the City of Concord to gerrymander their city limits years ago to include the Speedway to keep it from being annexed by Harrisburg. They did this because if they had been annexed by Harrisburg, they would have lost huge amounts of money in alcohol sales. When they built the speedway club, I believe that Concord allowed liquor by the drink but Cabarrus didn't so that is another reason this request took place. Of course Concord was quite happy to take in the speedway due to the tax revenue.

Before growth took over the area, the Concord gerrymandered city limits was just a few feet wide down Hwy 29 until it reached the Speedway. By all rights, the Speedway should be in Harrisburg and not Concord. It's one of the more blatent examples of good ole boy politics and influence. The annexation was quite controversial when it happened. In any case the dirt lot across the street is still in Cabarrus county and not in the city.

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The city limits there is unusual because Harrisburg is a dry city. (re: no booze for you and me) The owners of the Speedway, as a result, petitioned the City of Concord to gerrymander their city limits years ago to include the Speedway to keep it from being annexed by Harrisburg. They did this because if they had been annexed by Harrisburg, they would have lost huge amounts of money in alcohol sales. When they built the speedway club, I believe that Concord allowed liquor by the drink but Cabarrus didn't so that is another reason this request took place. Of course Concord was quite happy to take in the speedway due to the tax revenue.

Good to know, but I wouldn't image the population comes from the people while they work in those trailers on 29, it's where they spend their time outside of that which goes towards the population figures. They probably spend their time along the lines of the Speedway itself and Concord Mills (the area.) I'm actually surprised that that lot isn't in annexed by Concord as they may be losing that tax revenue. However, I am glad, as I am sure you are, that Concord did annex the Speedway and we can drink until our livers vacate our bodies.

Anywho, I wish Concord would just annex what is left between the Cabarrus County border and the Speedway along 29. I believe they already have most of the land to the Meck-Cab border where Concord Mills is. Why not just finish the connection and reap the benefits of the many developments planned along that line.

I have a question though. When/if the decision is finally made to build the Northeast line of the LRT, do you think Concord, Harrisburg, or Cabarrus will help kick in to get the line extended to either the speedway or Concord Mills. I mean:

A. The biggest tourist attraction in the state is one mile away from 485 where the line stops;

B. LMS already tried to fork over money to get a monorail into commission, albeit that was a little off base.

C. We've already seen what the light rail has done for the South Blvd corridor as far as development, what would they have to lose?

I feel they should spend the money to have the line end right behind Concord Mills where all that undeveloped land in Mecklenburg County is and have the Weddington Road Extension service it.

OR

They should extend it down 29 to LMS and hook it the mile to Concord Mills along Speedway Blvd. I doubt this would happen as they would have to reconstruct Speedway Blvd, including a bridge over 85.

OR

They should stretch the line 2 miles passed the border along Weddington Road in Concord until it reaches Pitts School Road where the zoning changes from light industrial to very dense residential neighborhoods. This would help cut the traffic from Concord commuting into Charlotte by a good portion as many of these people already work in Charlotte. A lot of the land on this portion of Weddington hasn't been developed and the land is already zoned for business and industrial parks which are just now taking off. Imagine what change that would make.

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Involuntary annexations occur when an area reaches a certain level of developed as defined by the state. Concord can't annex that land unless this land has reached that state or the property owner requests it.

I have no idea about the Cabarrus portion of the Light Rail. There won't be on unless Cabarrus agrees to participate and fund their portion, and so far, they have not even shown enough interest to even become involved with the MTC.

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Involuntary annexations occur when an area reaches a certain level of developed as defined by the state. Concord can't annex that land unless this land has reached that state or the property owner requests it.

I have no idea about the Cabarrus portion of the Light Rail. There won't be on unless Cabarrus agrees to participate and fund their portion, and so far, they have not even shown enough interest to even become involved with the MTC.

What's the MTC? I do know that CATS busses run to and from Concord and meet up with Concord/Cabarrus's independent bus system to route people from Kannapa-cord to UC and uptown.

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What's the MTC? I do know that CATS busses run to and from Concord and meet up with Concord/Cabarrus's independent bus system to route people from Kannapa-cord to UC and uptown.

The MTC is the political body that makes decisions about mass transit in our area. They are the ones that decide where the buses go, where the rail lines are going, what technology to use, and when the rail lines will be built. CATS is resposible for implementing the plans that get decided by the MTC. The biggest decisions they have this summer are deciding which rail line will be built next, and what also which alignments will be used. (and possibly if LRT will be used on the SE instead of BRT)

The MTC currently has voting and non voting members. At the moment the voting members consist of the mayors of the 7 municipalities in Mecklenburg, one vote from Mecklenburg county, and a member from the NCDOT. The non-voting members are from Union, Iredell, and York counties. A non-voting member can become a voting member once it decides to fund rail transit into its county. At this point none of the non-Mecklenburg counties have decided to do so and as I note above Cabarrus doesn't even send anyone to the meetings. (and I am sure they were asked)

The mayor of Concord is a non-voting representative of the MTC but he has not been present at a meeting in more than a year, (after which I stopped looking)

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Just so you know, if you have made plans to come to any of the racing events, leave early and plan on getting home late, as a University City resident in Charlotte (just four miles from the Speedway) I can tell you the rest of this month is hell on earth for traffic.

You're telling me! I work within a mile of the track and can hear practicing and the Richard Petty Driving Experience from my office. Since I've moved to Concord and live in fairly close proximity to the track I can now hear it at home as well. My only fear is how loud the races will be when they're in full force. :blink:

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^yeah, that's usually only 1 car going around the track......wait till 43 are rolling around. It'll probably sound a little like constant thunder.

I challenge anyone who hasn't been to a race to go. It is one thing that you have to see at least once in your life. I too used to think of it as a "redneck" sport, but now i have become quite a fan. You really can't imagine how fast those cars are going till you see it in person. Qualifying is on speed tv for the winston (all star race).

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You're telling me! I work within a mile of the track and can hear practicing and the Richard Petty Driving Experience from my office. Since I've moved to Concord and live in fairly close proximity to the track I can now hear it at home as well. My only fear is how loud the races will be when they're in full force. :blink:

Don't worry; my parents have lived down Weddington Road about a mile and a half further away than you are since I was 9 years old. It's not noticeable unless you are outside. If you had the radio on you wouldn't notice it. You'll catch the fireworks though. It's no more noticeable indoors as the blasting done at the two or three rock quarries in that area.

I know what you're talking about with the RPDE, I went to High School next door to the Speedway and the landfill at Jay M Robinson and we could hear cars practicing.

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I too used to think of it as a "redneck" sport, but now i have become quite a fan.

My whole family must be rednecks! :P

My uncles are in love with it. I don't see it as any less sophisticated than any other racing sport. Nascar is America's racing, so I love it just for that. It's part of our culture.

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Well, that was all fun. But I'm glad it's all over now. It took me twenty minutes to drive from work to Chik-fil-a which is normally a two minute drive (had a free sandwich coupon) only to realize that it was sunday and CFA is closed. The drive back was nice and quick though as traffic was only going north on Tryon.

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i was coming back to greensboro from charlotte on sunday afternoon and traffic was hella backed up on 85. part of it was because of a wreck though.

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Theeeey'rrrrre baaaaack

It's always good when a normally ten minute drive takes you twenty. Why do I say that non-sarcastically? Because that same trip usually takes fourty minutes in race traffic, seems they have finally worked out the light system in Concord/Charlotte on N Tryon and built an extension for Speedway Blvd. I read awhile ago that somebody was hired to help plan for the ammounts of traffic coming in, he's doing his job.

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I went to my first race last October in Concord, to tailgate, drink copiously and to say I have done it. It was definitely an experience, and there is no good way of describing watching the cars go by like they do, you will never get the same feel from TV. It is a little bit like the speed racers from Tron (anyone that old here?) zipping by almost too fast to see, with a unique kind of sound that can be properly spelled as "zoom", but that is still not properly described by "zoom". With multiple cars going by at once, imagine a quick sequence of zoom zoom zoom, zoom zoom.

Anyway, a little practical advice I'd like to share if you are deciding to do this for the first time - unlike normal sporting events, the best seats are NOT on the lower level right next to the action, and if you don't want to take my word for it, just notice the pricing models. We didn't look that closely, unfortunately, and sat 7 rows back from the fence. I developed a migraine in about 20 minutes from the extreme noise and from breathing the fine black dust that floats up from burning rubber and asphalt, and had to leave. Everyone else did as well. It didn't help we had been drinking all day I am sure, but that should have made us more immune to it, I am not sure. We had earplugs, but at that distance they were ineffectual. All that is not a negative recommendation, by the way, I would just advise against sitting too close to the action. The speed and sound of the cars is quite awesome, though frankly 20 minutes was plenty for me.

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Its interesting to note at Concord Mills, you can get that "racing fuel" at some fuel stations. Think the octane is like 105 or something. Back in 2002, I remember the gallon of gas was about $3-4 a gallon or somethin, i can't remember exactly.

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Its interesting to note at Concord Mills, you can get that "racing fuel" at some fuel stations. Think the octane is like 105 or something. Back in 2002, I remember the gallon of gas was about $3-4 a gallon or somethin, i can't remember exactly.

Really? Which station? I hadn't noticed that at any around there before, although I've never been looking for it.

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