Green Flag: New London-Waterford Speedbowl New Management Prepares For Their Own Blastoff

Shawn Monahan

Shawn Monahan

It seems like just yesterday for Shawn Monahan when he looked out on a snow covered New London-Waterford Speedbowl and realized that he was charged with the task of getting the place ready for the 2015 racing season, in short order.

That was mid-February when Monahan, a longtime competitor at the track, was named as the general manager by new track owner Bruce Bemer.

Bemer was the high bidder on the facility when it went to foreclosure auction last October. Because of legal issues surrounding the foreclosure, Bemer was unable to close on the property until early February.

Wednesday Monahan was in full preparation mode in his efforts to give fans a new experience when the gates swing open for the first racing event of the season on Saturday.

“I’ve been burning the midnight oil for such a long time now that I am just thrashing to get everything completed to make the best first impression possible,” Monahan said. “I feel really comfortable with the race department. I feel as though we have things well communicated and ready to operate. All new equipment is still coming in. We had pizza ovens coming in today. All new coolers tomorrow. New fryalators and grills are being hooked up.

“When I get an opportunity to sit back and think about it I get excited. But I’ve been staring at it everyday. It’s when other people come in and see the difference already is when I realize the changes we’ve already done.”

Monahan said fans and competitors will be pleasantly surprised by the work that’s been done at the facility. Monahan emphasized that focusing on being a family oriented operation can only help to build the next generation of racing fans.

“This is an entertainment venue,” Monahan said. “I believe the racers already know what the racetrack has to offer. It’s all about having a friendly staff, grabbing a good bite to eat, having clean bathrooms. We weren’t able to do everything that we wanted to do with the bathrooms, so I have a trailer coming in to assist with that. But the overall visit needs to be fan friendly, family oriented.”

Part of reenergizing that family friendly atmosphere for Monahan is refocusing on ensuring the “Family Section” of the grandstand is just that.

“If anybody was ever confused before as to what the family section was or where it was actually located or where the lines were, there’s a whole section of bleachers that are painted a different color now,” Monahan said. “It’s great for the regular guys who have been coming here for years and have their areas where they like to sit and have a beer and enjoy the races. And then you’ve got the people who come with their children, and those families want to sit an area where there’s no profanity or alcohol or smoking. I just want to be able to cater to everybody. I think that’s how we’re going to keep the youth involved.”

Monahan, who grew up watching racing at the track, wants to return to youth the same experiences he had as a child at the shoreline oval.

“As the dust settles and we’re able to open and operate and I can then put my promotion visions in place and do little things that will make a difference and make people want to return,” Monahan said. “We’re building a new fan zone. We want to have fan interaction with drivers. Just small things like that that I remember as a child that I think the place kind of lost track of.”

RaceDayCT One Mouse Click Ad

Follow RaceDayCT On FacebookFollow RaceDayCT On Twitter


  1. While this is all great – and i say that with all sincerity – what is an Adult General Admission ticket going to cost?

  2. Prices are NOt family friendly as promised ! You might get a crowd opening day but things have to change to draw weekly !

  3. Frankie Tree says

    Onie’s paint job looks great . When l drove by today the new face lift on trailer really is eye pleasing . Fridays practice will be a sneak peak for Saturdays opener and looks like Mother Natures on our side . Hope for Bruce,Shawn and the new updated New London , Waterford Speedbowl that we have a great new start to the place we all love and call our ” Home Track “

  4. crazy larry says

    NLWSpeedbowl site sucks no info

  5. is the website, not nlwspeedbowl. There is plenty of info including prices for every race weekend if you open your eyes and look. It’s front and center on the website when you click where it says “schedule” under each respective raceday at the top…

    I love the people saying that the prices are not family friendly… How much cheaper do you want it? Kids 12 and under are free… The other tracks charge for kids between 6 and 14 and 5 and under are free… The adult GA price is also cheaper than the other tracks by a few bucks… This is all adjusted from last years prices as well… You are never going to see $12 a ticket. You can thank your wonderful state of CT’s entertainment tax on that one! Waterford offers the best racing and the best price by far! Shut up and stop complaining. At least it’s still there and isn’t a Walmart like it could have been…


    Here is the full events schedule for 2015 for those too lazy to do the work…

  7. Frankie Tree says

    I agree with Crazy Larry . The news should be on cover page not under a menu tab . No one knew that there was a work party till after the fact . At least links with a head line on cover page . I believe that would help with phones who don’t get such easy navagating .

  8. Bob of West Haven says

    So what are the prices? I’m not going to drive the 100 mile round trip until it’s published. Will there be a senior ticket? Why is the web site such junk?

  9. Many speedways, to survive, are dependent on the back gate due to a lack of spectators. When the spectators come back in reasonable numbers and purchase tickets and patronize the food concessions the opportunity for lower admission prices may reflect that. Those in the pits have the passion to race and pay the price. Fans with passion for racing and who are willing to make a night at the races a priority are what is needed – not the negative attitude they all too often express…

  10. All I see on the site is box office info coming soon

  11. Tom Neff- Your thoughts are true. However, over the years these tracks have done a poor job of keeping competitors happy and fans appealed. There is usually a reason for people to be skeptical and this is followed by the negative comments. The tracks are at fault for the decline in front & back gate sales. For the record, blaming the economy is a just a poor excuse.

  12. Grey Matter says

    For so long there were “save the bowl” comments on RacedayCT. Now you guys are concerned about ticket prices? You have to be kidding me. You’re lucky you have something to complain about.

  13. For ticket prices, follow the link Dingus shared above. Ticket prices vary by event, and each date states the prices for the particular event. Other tracks do this as well, it’s standard stuff…

    Personally, I’m looking forward to my first Speedbowl visit this year. I’m a regular at some other tracks, but I’ve been impressed with the Speedbowl story this weekend, and I want to support the efforts.

    Remember, once tracks go, they don’t come back, they become malls…

  14. crazy larry says

    HEY,Dingus : thanks for the help but that was the site that was posted on this site !! just looking for info@ the bowl don’t care about the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ opening times would be nice ,you should be to I believe that’s what the NLWSpeedbowl is all about NEW GET TI !!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK’S AGAIN

  15. crazy larry says

    And one more thing , A lot of people do not use Facebook such as myself That a gossip center not info. thank you but no thanks.

  16. 100% agree with crazy larry. facebook is not the only way to get the word out however it appears the new management is putting most of their eggs into this basket instead of sending out press releases to be posted on multiple websites. Maybe it will work and maybe it won’t. One thing for sure, with great weather expected for this weekend the attendance will provide the answer. Can’t wait to smell the race fuel and rubber burning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. I think some of the issues with the website might be due to the version of windows the user is running. At work, I have Windows 7 and the website is a mess and very hard to navigate but when I get home on my computer with Windows 8, the website looks much better. I used Chrome to view both. I know that many people use social media (facebook, etc) but I agree that you need to get word out the old-fashioned way too. Good luck to Waterford and all the teams!

  18. Harvey Weinstein says

    Hey we would all like to see it be $10 to get in the stands every Saturday night like Lebanon Valley but your never going to see it in taxaconnecticut. They’re doing different promotions and reducing ticket prices for the rug rats so give them a break. The guy does have to attempt to turn some kind of profit it is a business.

  19. pitgatelady says

    Really Dingus as a season ticket holder it’s costing me TWICE more than the last TEN years so don’t say ticket prices are fair !!!

  20. Thanks for the link Dingus. I was not aware of the site – I was looking at the one referenced in previous published articles, http://www.thenlwspeedbowl,com site – which does not have the schedule with pricing that your link does.

    As for the pricing, i am pleasantly surprised and grateful. i thought that with all the improvements Shawn mention that there would be some significant price increases.

    Kudos to you, Shawn and Mr Bemer!

    P.S I STILL think the SKs should run a minimum of 40 laps. Heck, I could build a case for 50 laps as the standard. 50 laps comparison = Stafford Feature is 20 miles total, and 50 laps at the ‘bowl would be less than that.

  21. Revision: 40 laps at Stafford = 20 miles. 50 laps at NLWS is STILL less than that!

  22. I was also curious about ticket prices so I called the Speedbowl. The conversation I had was a pleasant surprise. We talked for about 20 minutes about a lot of things. I felt like I was talking to somebody I had been friends with for years. He answered every question I had with straight forward answers, even though we have never met before. If this is how the new Speedbowl is going to be operating, I have nothing but good to say about it. The things I was told about what is happening there now and in the future has me exceedingly happy that THIS IS WHAT RACING SHOULD BE for its competitors and us racefans. Thank you Mr Bemer and your whole staff for keeping it a race track and the new attitude of the Bowl. My hat ‘s off to you and looking forward to an exciting 2015 season. I think that we will see more new racefans this year!!!!!

  23. pitlady, Step into Mr. Monahan’s and Mr. Bemer’s shoes and see the steep hill in front of them once they took ownership of the track. Sacrifices had to be made and tough decisions had to be made. The ticket prices this year are ALL cheaper than 2014. END OF DISCUSSION! Sorry that you don’t get your Season Ticket, but sometimes more important things take precedence. If you don’t like the prices, stay home.

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing