The owner of the legendary Nurburgring racetrack in Germany is bankrupt following the construction of a half-baked amusement park in 2004 and disputes with the track operator over fees, reports said Wednesday.
Track owner Nurburgring GmbH, which is 90 percent controlled by the state government of Rhineland-Palatinate, said it will be out of money and unable to keep the lights on by July 30, according to Reuters. The company has been in disputes with track operator Nurburgring Automotive GmbH over fees.
Nurburgring is €13 million ($16 million) in debt, according to AFP. The track had been hoping for funding from the European Union, but it's not expected to materialize for some time. The track hosts the German F1 Grand Prix on alternating years with the track at Hockenheim, and is scheduled to host next year's race under a Wednesday agreement with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.
Nurburgring fell on hard times in 2004 when the company began construction of a poorly conceived amusement park that cost upwards of €500 million, according to Car and Driver. With bankruptcy looming for the track, the amusement park will probably be closed, but after 85 years of operation it seems doubtful that the track itself is in any danger.
The actual Nurburgring track is profitable, and it has been the hotels and amusement park that have been sucking the company dry financially, according to Automobile Magazine. As such, the continued operation of the track seems likely, for racing, tolls and manufacturer testing, although it could ultimately wind up in private hands.