Sonoma Raceway dumps music festival plans

Sonoma Raceway officials have decided not to pursue changes to the racetrack’s use permit and general plan to allow an annual multi-day music festival and other non-racing events at its Sonoma venue at state Highways 37 and 121.

The plan to seek the changes was announced earlier this year. Raceway officials said at the time that the current use permit reflected “a rigid snapshot of activity nearly two decades ago.”

In a news release, Sonoma Raceway said management withdrew its use permit after assessing the likely costs and the timetable associated with the review of its proposal.

Sonoma Raceway President and General Manager Steve Page said:

“As it played out, we’ve had to face the unfortunate reality that the costs, schedule and overall uncertainty of this process do not match up with the business opportunity we had hoped to pursue. …¬†We are disappointed not to bring this exciting new event to our region, but ready to re-focus our efforts in operating this world class motor racing facility.”

The proposed revisions would have given the Raceway flexibility to adapt to changes in the industry and overall business conditions, officials said. Raceway officials said the 54-page use permit had specific conditions that govern attendance, traffic, noise and hours of operation and limited activity at the Raceway to racing and related vehicle uses.