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Board votes to consider RRV Speedway proposal

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Danny Schatz is one step closer to taking control of the Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo.

A full crowd packed the seats in the Hartl Ag Building at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds on Wednesday, Oct. 7, to see what the board's next step would be in cutting ties from the notorious money pit that is RRVS.

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Schatz, a Fargo resident and father of World of Outlaws star Donny Schatz, recently sent a proposal to the RRVF board discussing terms for a leasing contract.

Up until this point, the proposal has been "pretty skeletal," said David Strand, Association president.

The board voted unanimously Wednesday to consider Schatz's proposal. According to fair board manager Bryan Schulz, the next step will be to discuss all aspects of the contract and iron out a final draft.

So far, the proposal calls for a three-year lease at $20,000 a year with a three-year option. Schatz also has big plans for the track itself, hoping to shorten the raceway and switch races to Wednesday nights. He will incur all costs rendered.

Schatz and his organization would take over all aspects of racing while RRVF "would basically be a landlord at that time," Strand said.

If the proposal goes through, Schatz hopes to start rebuilding the track come spring in hopes of finishing by the start of the racing season.

One thing that shouldn't change is the name. Schulz said the plan is to possibly add "the new" to the current Red River Valley Speedway logo.

There are some issues surrounding the lease that could pose a threat, however. Current law doesn't allow an establishment to have more than one liquor license. If Schatz takes over, he would be required to get a license to serve alcohol at races. Since both RRVS and the fairgrounds are still part of the same entity, the details of how two liquor licenses will be allowed have yet to be determined.

Also, since the speedway currently is controlled by a non-profit organization, taxes haven't been an issue. However, if Schatz takes over, it is uncertain whether that will change.

Even after Wednesday's vote to move forward, it's apparent there still is much work to be done.

"There are hundreds of thousands of dollars and much to consider before I get the nerve to move forward," Schatz said, raising a laugh from the crowd.

Another board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. today (Oct. 15) in the Hartl Ag Building at the RRVF.

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