Cops called to S.I. NASCAR meeting
(Staten Island-WABC, April 27, 2006) (WABC) -- A public hearing Thursday night about bringing NASCAR racing to Staten Island erupted into an all out shouting match.
Some residents started shoving and yelling during the meeting. The debate surrounds whether to build an 82,000 seat racetrack near the Goethals Bridge.
Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Pegues has the story.
When supporters of the plan and critics clashed in the aisles of the auditorium at the Patrides Educational Complex.
City Councilman Andrew Lanza drew the jeers of NASCAR supporters. He's concerned about the planned racetrack drawing a traffic nightmare to Staten Island.
Lanza: "As soon as I voiced that concern, it got ugly in there."
The meeting was shut down just about 40 minutes in and the raucous crowd of about 900 were forced police to bring in reinforcements.
And members of the Department of City Planning gave up.
"We've been informed by police that there is a public safety issue in the auditorium," a spokesperson said.
The troubling atmosphere nearly overshadowed the reason for the meeting: This 675 acre site near the Goethals Bridge. It is now undeveloped.
International Speedway Corporation wants to transform this into a New York NASCAR mecca -- an 80,000 seat race track and a 620-thousand square foot retail center.
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