The Nürburgring is up for sale, so if you have a spare £100 million, it might be an idea. The track ran into trouble a few years back when someone came up with the brilliant plan of turning it into a year-round theme park and conference destination. The local government agreed to provide some of the funding, but when promised private financing failed to appear it had to pay for the whole thing or lose the money invested.
To add insult to injury, the saying 'if you build it, they will come' didn't turn out to be correct. The ’Ring is in a pretty remote region and no-one seemed to be very interested. The upshot of all this was that some of the local politicians lost their jobs and large amounts of public money is going to be lost.
The liquidator is selling all the assets that are left to try to minimise the disaster and says that the existing facilities could be sold off as a single unit or individually, depending on which arrangement produces the most money. The current assets include hotels, amusement facilities, accommodation, restaurants and the race tracks.
One of the requirements of the sale is that the circuit must remain available for the general public to use, either as spectators or for drives around the track. This means that it cannot be turned into an exclusive motor racing 'country club' of the type that has become popular in the United States in recent years.
Perhaps the greatest potential value will come from the brand rights to the Nürburgring name, which could be exploited much more in the future.
It was suggested some months ago that a copy of the Nürburgring could be constructed in hills close to Las Vegas, which might produce a sizeable fee for use of the name for licensing deals and merchandising. The ’Ring’s reputation as the world’s most fearsome race track has great sales potential.
In the meantime there are fears among the racing fraternity that any new owner is going raise prices in order to justify their investment and that this will have an effect on grass roots motor racing at the circuit