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  • Writer's pictureChris Green

NOLA Motorsports Park - SpeedTour Weekend




Photos by Chris Green, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00

NOLA Motorsports Park 11075 Nicolle Blvd Avondale, LA 70094


Year Opened: 2011

 

Racing in The Big Easy

Touted as an un-tapped motorsports market for years, NOLA Motorsports Park is located outside of New Orleans near TPC Louisiana in Avondale. The one-time host of IndyCar racing has seen the likes of SRO America and others come and go over the years. However, the SVRA and Trans Am SpeedTour weekend has quietly become a staple on the schedule, giving fans something to help their racecar cravings.

 

Food & Beverage   2

There aren’t any fixed locations for concessions stands at NOLA Motorsports Park, which means fans must rely on outside vendors who are brought in via food trucks and temporary food stations. Mostly located near the main event center building, fans can often find local food trucks here, as well as some grilled meat food vendors. Local restaurants are also brought in from time to time.


 

Atmosphere   3

The track itself is challenging enough to drive, according to drivers. The unfortunate part is the massive lack of fan access. The only seating is a group of small grandstands that exist behind pit lane, allowing for a view of the finish line and the small section of the esses across the track. Fans also have access to the second floor balcony of the event center, unless it has been reserved for hospitality. Here, you can get an elevated view of the final few corners.


A small portion of the back half of the property is also usually open to fans, with a few viewing mounds available for fans to pitch tents or set up chairs; this offers alternate views of the final few corners. However, no fan access is permitted for over half of the entire outside of the circuit, meaning watching anything that happens elsewhere at the track is near impossible. Future plans have been touted for added viewing mounds, a walking path that encircles the track, and more grandstands, but little to no progress has been made since that was announced several years ago.

 

Neighborhood   3

The track itself is a good 15-20 minute drive from New Orleans proper. Located across the river and to the southwest of the city, not much is located immediately next to the track. The nearest section of hotels and restaurants is several miles north near the Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson and Elmwood. That said, there are plenty of things to do in New Orleans, from the vibrant jazz scene to the National WWII Museum. Hotels are also plentiful in the city, and thankfully, traffic is minimal compared to rush hour in larger metropolises.

 

Fans   3

The fans in New Orleans have very little when it comes to motorsports to satisfy their cravings throughout the year. Abandoned by IndyCar after just one year, the track sits mostly unused by professional motorsports series aside from testing. Therefore, SpeedTour weekend is without a doubt the biggest weekend of the year for NOLA Motorsports Park, and features numerous fan activities.


Autograph sessions for F4 and FR drivers are held throughout the weekend, giving you a chance to meet some of the brightest future stars of open-wheel racing. Trans Am also offers fans the chance to get up close to the drivers and cars during their grid walk on race day. And with the paddock open to all fans, you can see some of the best vintage cars in racing while the crews work on them. The fans also love their racing, and fill in the few fan areas around the track rather well.


 

Access   4

To get to the track itself, you just have to go south on Highway 90. From there, exit onto Lapalco Blvd and follow the signs to the facility off Nicolle Blvd. Here, parking is free and plentiful on site.


One plus to the track having limited access means it is easy to navigate the areas of the track you can get to.

 

Return on Investment   3

Tickets to the SpeedTour start at just $20 for a Friday ticket, and go up only to $30 for a Saturday or Sunday only ticket. Weekend passes for four people are available for just $150, and VIP parking passes are $20 a day or $35 for the full weekend. This makes the NOLA SpeedTour one of the most affordable race weekends in the region, let alone New Orleans.

 

Extras   3

The facility features a fan store inside the event center. Here you can purchase shirts, hats, and other items from the track commemorating your visit. The circuit also features an open victory lane, allowing fans the chance to get up close and personal to the winners and their podium celebrations. Finally, the track also has a go-kart facility on site, giving fans the chance to race against friends during the weekend.

 

Final Thoughts

NOLA Motorsports Park is located in a great location just outside of a popular destination city. While access is limited to fans, the potential exists for great things at this track. Thanks to the affordability of SpeedTour weekend, this is a great option for race fans in the region to get some professional racing in, while not breaking the bank or having to drive too far.

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