No Movement Concerning Future Construction At New London-Waterford Speedbowl

A report on WFSB Channel 3 Monday night created a buzz concerning the future of the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, though the local television outlet didn’t actually report anything that wasn’t already publicly known concerning the current situation at the facility. 

The WFSB story reported that “ongoing renovations” involving new grandstands have stalled. Construction of new grandstands actually has never begun. Track management began demolition of the previous main grandstand in late January, but no work has been started on a new grandstand or any other related renovations. 

In the report it was stated: “Channel 3 did some digging at town hall and learned that the track owner has yet to request the necessary electrical permits or other necessary building permits to complete ongoing renovations, which have stalled.”

The headline on a WFSB Channel 3 report Monday referring to construction at the “Waterford New London Speedway”

The WFSB story also reported that: “The Speedbowl’s opening was also delayed last season.” The Speedbowl actually opened on-time as scheduled in early May for the 2018 season. 

The reference to “digging at town hall” seemed to infer that track officials have been misleading or dishonest about construction plans, which has not been the case. Nobody involved in management or ownership has announced at any point publicly that they have applied for – or received – any permits for new construction at the track. It’s unclear why Channel 3 reporters referenced “digging” at town hall to find out information that track management would simply admit to. 

The headline on the WFSB Channel 3 report referred to construction at what the station termed the “Waterford New London Speedway”. The track is called the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. 

At this point there is nothing to report concerning new construction at the track. 

Speedbowl general manager Mike Serluca has expressed continued optimism since April that the track will have racing in 2019. The track was originally scheduled to open with Blastoff Weekend May 11-12.

Track owner Bruce Bemer was found guilty on five felony charges involving human trafficking and patronizing prostitutes in April. Bemer is set to be sentenced Friday and faces up to 60 years in prison.

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  1. just sentence this animal already sell the track give the money too the victims.hopefully it can stay a race track.


    😳 😮 😯 😲 😨 🤯 🙀

  3. Read somewhere that they anticipated a late June 2019 opening?

  4. Rob p, I can see a late June, but what year?

  5. Rob P.,
    I know it’s the way of the world today, but one of the most aggravating comments used generally these days by people is: “I read somewhere”. How about, where did you read that? From a reputable media outlet? If so, what? From someone in management? If so, who?
    No the track will not be opening in late June.

  6. Mike Serluca what is the latest?

  7. Mike and Magic Shoes were at the track on Wednesday- I really don’t think they just hang around the speedway and do nothing- they continue to work on the speedway grounds. At least people are there everyday, it’s not like it is shut down.

  8. If it’s on here it’s not reputable.

  9. “Phil”,
    Feel free to post your list of all the incorrect information that’s been published on this website recently. I won’t hold my breath waiting for your response.

  10. Fast Eddie says:

    I think Rob’s reference might have been an article in Area Auto Racing News. At that time there was hope for a possible “soft opening”, maybe practice on 6/22 and first race on 6/29. Apparently that has changed based on the above report.

  11. Yes – I believe the AARN article quoted Serluca and referenced a late June/early July opening.

  12. RI Mod Fan says:

    Sounds like sloppy and irresponsible reporting on the part of Channel 3 : they couldn’t even get the name of the track correct or the fact that it opened on schedule last year right.

  13. sour grapes of fake news says:

    I actually believe Serluca.. my interpretation of channel three wanting to talk was to discuss Bemer and the sentence. Seluca said he wasn`t biting .. good move on his part !! so channel three quotes the Waterford first selectman as saying “things need to be safe with all that’s going on over there” ..the story was manufactured with mis statements ..aka fake news. then enter Shawn I never met a camera or microphone I didn’t like Monahan as the new spokesperson for all those aggrieved racers in waiting..poor shawn..just salivating at the thought of being at the helm of the track as an owner or promotor /gm again… its all sick..Bemer sentence will probably be delayed hopefully the business side of the track can get itself together and there will be racing.. I cant imaging Bemer letting what he has started go to waste and walk away or be dragged away kicking and screaming. its still a viable race track once the improvements are complete no matter who owns it ..

  14. Shawn, do not recall exactly which site I saw it on. Didn’t even read the article, just remember seeing the headline ” speed bowl eying late June opening” it was within the last month. May have been in area auto racing news, but I’ve since recycled that paper.

  15. Shawn
    Area Auto Racing News, Tuesday May 21, Page 3 headline “New London Waterford Speed bowl Targets Late June Opening article written by Steve Barrick.

  16. Phil I’ve been reading from Raceday CT for about 2 years now. As a former racer and a race fan who has trouble getting to the venues, I find this site to be very informative. I’ve yet to read any article that wasn’t backed by fact. Granted some of the posts conjure up some far fetched theories, the articles Shawn and his staff write are always spot on, and I want to thank them for the great job they do.

  17. Um, it’s just about late June already.Only a couple of Saturdays left and the place has no grandstands. It took Monadnock over a month to put their stands up and the seats were already on site. Yes bad weather was an issue but it gives you a base timeline. I don’t think the place is opening again myself but if anything you’d be looking at one or two shows late season. Common sense alone tells you that.

  18. Hillary 2020 says:

    I wonder if he means the comment section.

  19. Has any construction happened yet? Perhaps concrete has been poured?

    Demolition was in January, that’s some four months ago. Building and construction should have started months ago.

  20. I think the speed bowl may have taken the checkered flag. Would really like to hear from Mr Bemer himself as to the tracks destiny. There are allot of racers who tied up allot of time and money thinking they would be racing there, it’s not fair to them.

  21. Last update I saw was no racing in May, engineering was working towards permits. What Engineering firm is it or was that just BS? Are we waiting for a Speedbowl Staff member to complete Enginnering Degree Requirements to write a plan that satisfies the Towns Bylaws? I highly doubt professional people were hired or contracted in this endevour, sounds like I know a guy that knows a guy whos uncle is a Engineer hasn’t worked out.

  22. Are race fans the best or what? One thinks Bemer wants to see his work at the Speedbowl completed and another hear from Bemer himself and his plans for the Speedbowl. Tell you what, if I’m looking at ending my life in the poky and working with my legal team to try to slither out of it I’m not worried so much about whether the renovations on my kitchen gets completed.
    It’s one thing for a pro to critique another pro but “fake news”……really. Fact is the vast, vast majority of the channel 3 audience doesn’t know much about the Speedbowl or really care. Now they have an inkling of what’s going on, that in spite of proper T’s being crossed and I’s dotted, has the bigger picture essentially correct. That they will almost as quickly forget. Meanwhile we in the peanut gallery that really, really care about the topic get basic facts wrong constantly. Pot and kettle.
    Screw the fans. How about all those teams that took Serluca’s sincere but perhaps over jealous cheer leading of prospects this year to heart. They aren’t out entertainment they won’t see. They’re out money and looking around wondering if Thompson is all there is or maybe change their set ups and take a ride to Stafford or Seekonk. How about them?

  23. Crazy in NY says:

    Hmmmm I think we need Mueller to do an investigation. Maybe Nadler should convene a hearing or two. Reporting on non issues is the wave of the press today.

  24. Rob P.
    Bemer has not spoken publicly since before his arrest in 2017 and I don’t think he plans on doing that anytime soon.

  25. Rob p, it looks like the bowl may have taken the black flag. Self inflicted too.

    🏴 🏴

    Rich, your assessment of, “… sounds like I know a guy that knows a guy …” is perfect 👌, a bullseye 🎯 if there ever was. The Town is probably watching this closely to make sure things get done right or not at all. I hope the town is watching closely.

    And so many people got so excited when the demo began… 🤣🤣🤣. And then the schedule was announced, and blown away. The schedule was demolished!! 😂🤣🤣 And when news from the bowl is called 🐂-💩, they go on a rant calling those skeptics clueless, and claiming they are a victim of ‘negativity’. 🤡 Those skeptics have been right over and over and over… And the folks still hang on to and believe every word coming from the bowl. Stunning, absolutely stunning. What does it take for people to start *NOT* believing the high flow 🐂-💩 coming out of the bowl? Coal mines are closing at faster rates, replaced by better alternatives. Who still believes that Donald will bring coal back? Hope you aren’t a coal miner. You keep hoping that the bowl manager-of-the-day will revive the bowl. You must like being abused.

  26. Todd Carey says:

    People keep saying its not fair to the racers and teams because they are wasting money waiting on the Speedbowl to open. Why would any person in their right mind spent a dime planning on racing at the Speedbowl? Plenty of other options if they really wanted to race.

  27. Just a reminder that a series of significant events happened. This isn’t last year when approval of the old stands was all the talk and a couple cars by the trailer constituted activity..
    In 2019 we quibbled about some volunteers doing minor things and that was mocked. Nothing would happen they said. Then the stands did come down and all the talk of abatement and the complications of demo that many said was a deal killer evaporated. Actual stands were delivered. There was site work prep and other activity that may be going on even now to a lesser degree. All the time the spokesman for the track was saying don’t worry, we’ll open. I can’t say I’d have my motor freshened but I sure would be doing other things to get the car ready for the season.
    Just because it appears stalled for now doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen. Haven’t we been here before? Not saying it will, no sir re. Just saying now could be a point in time in a process and not necessarily the end of the process.

  28. Hopefully everyone who raced at the bowl managed to change over their cars to race elsewhere, and will continue to race elsewhere if the bowl does manage to open. I say let the place die, and become a strip mall, there are better venues to race at.

  29. Doug, ” Actual stands were delivered. There was site work prep and other activity that may be going on even now to a lesser degree.” What stands? What site work? I haven’t read or seen anything that confirms that any stands have been delivered, and the only site work I’ve seen is the cleanup from the demolition of the old stands. What also concerns me is that they tore down the press box, and from what the track had said that wasn’t a part of the plan. They said they were going to keep the press box and build the grandstands up to it. So, what happened? Also, they weren’t supposed to tear it down how much equipment did they lose and how much more will that delay everything?

  30. Hillary 2020 says:

    This Rob P character wants to see a race track become a mall. Waterford and New London don’t have enough malls for ya?

  31. 450mike says:

    Rob P,that strip mall comment is disgraceful.You have absolutely no respect for the thousands of racers,owners,workers and race fans that have enjoyed the rich history of the Speedbowl.Further,your shortsighted wish of another race track closing demonstrates your lack of understanding that racing in New England is an endangered species.

  32. Fair enough Jake, this is what I based my comment on.
    The Day, 4/12/19
    ” New grandstands are scheduled to be delivered Monday, with a second planned delivery on April 27. Serluca said he announced the delayed season opening to the racing community via social media and that events previously scheduled for May are being rescheduled.”
    Regarding your concern about the press box-Norwich Bulletin 4/22/19:
    “Because the press box and race tower were a part of the grandstand structure, the town of Waterford also allowed the track to take those two structures down.”

    It could very well be that the stands were not delivered but it’s missing the point. Which is actual work, not just speculation about repairs to the old stands has been done. Actual contractors hired, engineering plans developed and contacts with the town if not necessarily the application for all relevant permits.

    If you have ever done a major renovation on your home or otherwise you know it’s complicated. Commercial projects far more so. If you want a chuckle of just how entangled things can get and a break from all this revisit Cary Grant and Myrna Loy in the ;1948 movie Mr.Blandings Builds his Dream House.

    My point is that this could be just like many other times since the early spring of 2017 when we interpret an event as climactic when it turns out it wasn’t. Or the gravity of the situation has finally hit Bemer and he’s lost interest or simply can’t afford a costly project that he gains no benefit from given his circumstance.
    If you’re thinking this is definitely, without question, beyond a doubt the end of racing at the Speedbowl this year or into the future my advice is not to bet any money on it.
    Convert it to a strip mall Rob p. Man that’s cold.

  33. It is relieving to see people actually talking about the reality of the situation, and that is not much that gets promised from the bowl ever gets done, and even less so on time. Some time ago, the bowl shills would be out in force attacking those that did not deny the facts. Remember, a fact denied is still a fact. Looks like the bowl shills have realized that it is futile to continue to try to alter reality.

    In order to address the problem that much of whatever the bowl and its shills says never gets done, or rarely ever on time, it looks like the bowl has gone into self-imposed radio silence. The old saying is true, that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything. So the bowl has gone silent.

  34. I can say with certainty that the stands are on site. I can say with certainty that the electrical that needed to be updated near the catch fence has been installed. I can say with certainty that the Town inspector was there to assess the completed work this far and has approved. They are working on completing underground utilities required before pouring concrete. I have seen it, been there when the inspector was there, and progress is being made. Slow yes but moving forward.

  35. 450 Mike really looks like the racers are enjoying the bowl. Personally as long as Bemer owns it, I say let it die. There are better venues that actually respect the racers. I really hope that the place will reopen sone day, but with owners, and managers that actually repeat the people putting the money in their pockets, because it’s very apparent that the crew running it now have absolutely no respect.

  36. Having been a part of the racing scene for more than 30 years, I have nothing but respect for the sport. One of the best parts of racing, besides winning was going to the track every week and spending time with freinds. If you’ve ever been on a team, you know that for the most part the paddock is filled with freindky people. It’s a joy to spend time with folks you know only trough racing. Bemer and his chronies robbed the speedbowl community of this. Do they deserve a second or third chance? Hell no! Like I said there are other venues that actually respect the racers

  37. And there you have it. Jason may not be a local newspaper or Racedayct but he sounds like he knows what’s what.
    Might want to wait on those plans to dance on the grave of the Speedbowl while getting your Big Gulp at the new strip mall.

  38. Has there been a meeting with the competitors to provide full disclosure on what they can expect for a racing season this year? Seems to me that letting the press, whether broadcast, print or internet, lead to all sorts of speculation is truly unfair to those who sink thousands of hard eanred dollars into race teams. I suspect the Bowl has many loyal competitirs who can’t afford to run Stafford, or convert their cars for Seekonk or tow all the way to Monadnock. Their cars are gathering dust in garages waiting for a season to begin and bo one seems to really be respectful of that from a track managmentt perspective,. As a former car owner of a long ago closed track, i have to tell you that if i still owned a car and ran at the bowl, i’d be looking at other options by now. By the time something “official” is announced there may be a nice track with new grandstands and ten cars in each divison left to run there. i do hope soemthing is going on behind the scenes to keep the competitors engaged and informed so they all come back when th track is ready.

  39. Ed P., you can drive by the place and see that there is nothing going on behind the scenes. It’s all out in the open for those that want to go see it. Well, there’s nothing to see. It will be a long time before the place opens at full capacity, and that means with permanent intalled facilities, concessions, etc. When it does initially reopen, it will probably be with food trucks and dozens of portable lavs.

    Months ago when some of us here were not believing anything coming from the track GM, he came here and bloviated that we didn’t know what we were talking about. Turned out we indeed knew what we were talking about. And every day that goes by further proves that we were the ones that knew what we were talking about.

    In other news, I saw on TV this AM that Bemer is being sentenced today. The recent news from a couple days ago indicates that he might try an appeal, raising Constitutional issues. He can do all he can to delay what appears to be the inevitable. Regardless of the legal consequences, by what has been made public, he’s a scourge that will not help with refurbishing the image of the bowl.

  40. It’s mystifying the hatred still directed at the Speedbowl in some quarters. Justice has been served criminally and will be civilly at some point as well. Yet it’s not enough to see the wrongdoer punished. The track must be abandoned to weeds and varmints and anyone associated with the facility must be deprived of their favorite entertainment for now and forever more. I’m just glad you guys aren’t judges.
    Ed P may be on to something. Absent are raging members of teams directing complaints at Mike Serluca via this forum. The Speedbowl force is strong. Maybe they have their own network, are satisfied with what they’ve been told and are enjoying the flailing they see here among we outsiders.
    You can’t be giving press releases when there is no definite information that can be passed on.

  41. Sentencing of Bruce Bemer has been continued to Monday.

  42. Bruce Bemer gets a 10 year sentence.

    His appellate lawyers are already working on options.

  43. Drove into the Speedbowl yesterday, there is work going on but its VERY slow.

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