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Published February 14 2010

RRV Speedway's future in doubt after Schatz negotiations collapse

The last lap has been run at the Red River Valley Speedway – at least for now.

West Fargo’s mighty half-mile dirt track was felled by a few pieces of paper.

The Red River Valley Fair Board and Danny Schatz have ended lease negotiations for RRVS, meaning there will likely be no races at the track this summer.

“We couldn’t come together on something that was satisfactory, so we told them that we were going to suspend negotiations,” Schatz said. “We had come a long way, but there were a couple of little hiccups that couldn’t be worked out.”

The main issue came down to race dates. Schatz intended on running the weekly show on Wednesday nights, but also wanted to run some specials throughout the week.

“All along, he scheduled Wednesdays as the day he was going to race, and he wanted other things along with that,” Red River Valley Fair manager Bryan Schulz said. “Some of the dates he wanted conflicted with some of our bigger events.

“In order for him to get enough dates, there wasn’t enough summer for the both of us.”

Schatz, who estimated he had already put between $40,000 and $50,000 into the track said the fair board wanted more than his yearly rent for him to use the facility for using the track more than 20 dates per year.

“After I spent the amount of money that I did, and gave them $20,000 in rent a year, I didn’t think it should make a difference whether I raced 13 days or 35 days a year,” Schatz said. “We wanted to do things to try and make it work, but the little governmental type issues became overbearing.”

Schulz said the fair board will use the facility for other things such as concerts and other motorized events like monster truck shows and tractor pulls, for example.

But racing is not in the plans for the near future. Schulz said they would entertain discussions for leasing the track if other parties – or Schatz – are interested.

Schatz said he wasn’t disappointed that the talks fell through, adding that it was something that just didn’t work out.

“I’m not walking around mad at anybody over this. It didn’t work out and life is too short to go to work for somebody that doesn’t have a vested interest,” Schatz said. “When you drop a lot of money into something that isn’t yours, and the same interest isn’t there on the other end, it’s tough.

“It’s like dropping a bucket of $100 bills on the floor and watching them blow away in the wind.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548