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New Georgetown Speedway owner eyes improvements, new events

Katie Tabeling

The Georgetown Speedway has been seeing more visits from families as they travel to Ocean City, Md. or the Delaware beaches. | PHOTO COURTESY OF RYAN HILL/BLUE CORD MEDIA

GEORGETOWN — Longtime dirt track racing promoter Brett Deyo has partnered with two Sussex County developers to buy the Georgetown Speedway for $1.5 million, with plans to expand the track’s entertainment options.

Deyo, the principal of BD Motorsports Media, has partnered with Millsboro homebuilder James Parker and developer Ken Adams to buy the legacy dirt track on U.S. Route 113 south of Georgetown. 

Through the partnership, Deyo, who has managed the speedway since 2016, will own the 40 acres that the oval track sits on. Parker and Adams will reportedly own the remaining 40 acres.

“It was clear that the track owners weren’t interested in extending the lease and they wanted to sell. The Georgetown Speedway has a great history, with many famous racers in the region driving this track,” Deyo said. “It’s got a great location, central on the coast, so you get large crowds because of the loyal fan base.”

Georgetown Speedway was built by Melvin L. Joseph, the grandfather of Adams, in 1949. Many famous racers in the Mid-Atlantic region raced the track in the years since, although the track was briefly closed in the 2000s.

While he was managing the track, Deyo replaced the lights and roughly 1,000 boards on the wooden grandstands, as well as dumping hundreds of tons of clay to rebuild the track.

The Georgetown Speedway sees between 2,000 and 2,500 attendees on a Friday night, but streaming is raising the prestige of the venue, as well as adding a new stream of revenue. | PHOTO COURTESY OF RYAN HILL/BLUE CORD MEDIA

Looking to the future, Deyo plans to upgrade the amenities at the track, including adding fencing, LED lights, and swapping out the wooden grandstands for aluminum ones. He also wants to evaluate the feasibility of making the track smaller, since the half-mile track is long compared to industry standards.

Race tracks are highly dependent on ticket sales and crowd sizes to turn a profit. Delaware’s highest-profile race venue, Dover International Speedway, spent about $1.5 million in 2019 to decrease its seating capacity from 83,000 to 54,000. 

The Georgetown Speedway is a smaller venue that draws an average of 2,000 attendees on a Friday night, and it doubles that for its premiere race, the Melvin L. Joseph Memorial race. Last year, BD Motorsports Media inked a deal with FloSports to livestream races. That has resulted in 19,000 viewers.

But Deyo sees opportunities to expand entertainment options, as he’s seen the interest grow beyond the stock car racing community.

“I’d like to bring in other events, like the Monster Trucks race we’re holding in April and the Zerbini Family Circus in May. It’s a prime facility, and it’s flat land, so it’s ideal for pretty much any form of entertainment that needs a PA system,” he said. “Over the last five years, we’re seeing a lot of families come from New Jersey and New York, because they’re looking for something to do while they’re at the beach in Ocean City or Rehoboth.”

BD Motorsports Media promotes 80 races in eight states and manages two other race tracks in New York: Fonda Speedway and Utica-Rome Speedway. Deyo said he is in discussions to purchase the Utica-Rome Speedway.

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