Who Owns Auto Club Speedway? [Answered!]

What does it mean to own a piece of history? As summer draws upon us, many of us are looking for ways to spend our time, getting out on the road and exploring the world around us. Many historic motorsport venues have been passed down from generation to generation, holding a special place in the hearts of many fans. One of these is the legendary Auto Club Speedway in California. While much has changed at the speedway over the years, it still holds a special place in the hearts of many dedicated fans, who visit it each year to pay homage to their favourite drivers and race teams of years gone by. It is therefore only fitting that those who live and breathe motorsport should visit this beautiful piece of Americana, to feel the passion that pours from the concrete every time they step on to the track. In this article, we will take a quick trip down memory lane, exploring the rich history that was made at Auto Club Speedway over the years and who owns it now.

The Early Years

The very first auto speedway was established in Anaheim, California in 1906, with the grand opening taking place just the following year. It remained the permanent home of the Los Angeles Auto Club until 1913, when it was decided that the venue needed a larger and more suitable location. Construction began in 1914 and the stadium was officially opened in 1917. The early years were defined by World War I and the Great Depression, with the track taking on a life of its own as a centrepiece for many social gatherings, hosting everything from celebrity tennis matches to car shows. During World War II, the stadium was used as a temporary military airfield and as a training ground for American fighter pilots.

With the end of the war, the economy improved and people were able to enjoy life more freely, which helped to fuel the popularity of the sport. In 1948, Auto Club Speedway was purchased by a group of investors from New York, led by a man named Charles J. Dolan. The new ownership group set about modernising the track, adding more seats, re-tooling the paddock area and adding an indoor practice facility.

Over the next few years, Auto Club Speedway underwent another major transformation, with the installation of a monorail, which encircles the entire venue, providing access to all parts of the stadium, as well as to the shops, hotels and dining establishments that surround it. The monorail was officially opened in October 1965 and ushered in an age of technological advancement that is still felt today.

The Glory Days

The glory days for Auto Club Speedway were from the 1960s to the early 1980s, after which time the stadium fell into a steady decline, largely due to the emergence of rival venues, such as Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which are both larger and have held more events, drawing crowds away from the semi-rural location in Southern California. As a result, the track was in a state of disrepair and had to be extensively re-modelled, adding a second deck, changing the grandstands and the surrounding area. This work was done in stages between 1999 and 2002. In 2009, the stadium was purchased by Los Angeles businessman Edward Roski, who has put money back into the venue, updating the track, shops and offices. While the stadium is still in a state of disrepair, it is hoped this will be a thing of the past.

A Grand Legacy

It is a truly remarkable feat to have built a stadium that still excites people after more than a century. Auto Club Speedway has seen some incredible moments in history, with many extraordinary individuals and teams creating memories that will be retained for generations. Today, it is hoped that this legacy will live on through a new generation of drivers and fans who can enjoy the fruits of Charles J. Dolan’s and Edward Roski’s hard work.

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