IRG Sports + Entertainment acquires Maryland International Raceway; Royce Miller joins IRG team as Chief Operating Officer
IRG Sports + Entertainment™ (IRG) President & CEO, Jason Rittenberry, announced today that the Company has acquired Maryland International RacewaySM (MDIR) in Budds Creek, Maryland. Last month, IRG announced a major financing agreement with TPG Specialty Lending (NYSE:TSLX) that funded a recapitalization of the Company and the acquisition of two additional motorsports venues, including Maryland International Raceway.
MDIR becomes the fifth motorsports and entertainment facility in the IRG portfolio of brands, joining sister tracks Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Florida; Memphis International Raceway in Millington, Tennessee; Southwestern International Raceway in Tucson, Arizona; and Cordova International Raceway in Cordova, Illinois.
Founded in 1966, MDIR has been owned and operated since 1990 by the Miller family – Royce and Linda, along with their sons Jason and Chris. One of the most respected track operators in the drag racing industry, Royce Miller joins IRG as the Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the track division and leading the team of vice presidents and general managers from each venue. A highly successful track operator and event promoter, Royce will report to IRG President & CEO Jason Rittenberry, and will work closely with Scott Gardner, President of the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA).
“Royce brings 25 years of expertise, talent and knowledge in track operations and promotions to IRG,” noted Rittenberry. “This will undoubtedly bring enhancements and refinements in the management of our operations at all the IRG tracks across the country. I’m certain that Royce will prove to be one of the greatest assets to the company to date.”
“I am looking forward to my new role as COO in overseeing and assisting all of the IRG owned tracks. With the wealth of experience and knowledge of the GMs at each track along with my 25 years of experience as a track operator, we will have an exceptional national team capable of great things,” stated Royce Miller. “I know I will learn as much from them as they can learn from me. We will take the best ideas and structures to each IRG raceway and make these tracks among the best run and exciting venues in the country.”
An IHRA member track since 1992, MDIR has hosted numerous IHRA national events including the President’s Cup Nationals, part of the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series show which is currently airing weekly on MAVTV. The legendary 19th Annual World Cup Finals were held at MDIR last weekend; the 3-day event will continue to be hosted there in the future.
Having worked alongside their father Royce at the track for their entire careers, Jason Miller and Chris Miller will take over the helm at MDIR. Jason Miller becomes the Vice President & General Manager of MDIR, while his brother Chris Miller is the new Director of Administration & Operations.
The MIROCK Superbike Series, which is the largest motorcycle drag racing series in the country, will continue at MDIR and will be managed and promoted by Jason Miller. The World Cup Finals, an Import vs. Domestic event, will continue to be owned, managed and promoted by Jason Miller and Chris Miller, as it has been for the last 19 years.
IRG was represented in the transaction by Murray Schwartz, Esq. of Karlinsky, LLC in New York and Craig Enck of Miles Stockbridge in Baltimore; MDIR was represented by Steve Scott of Scott Law in La Plata, MD.
About IRG Sports + Entertainment™
IRG Sports + Entertainment™ (IRG) is a leading purveyor of sports and live entertainment experiences and is the privately-held parent company of International Raceway Group™ (IRG), IRGSE Productions™, and the International Hot Rod Association™ (IHRA). IRG owns and operates Palm Beach International Raceway™ (PBIR), Palm Beach Driving Club® (PBDC), Memphis International Raceway™ (MIR), Southwestern International Raceway™ (SWIR), Cordova International Raceway™ (CIR), and Maryland International RacewaySM (MDIR). Located in Jupiter, Florida, PBIR is the company’s flagship and home to PBDC, a private members-only club for automotive enthusiasts. The facility features a challenging 2.034-mile asphalt Road Course, an exciting 1/4-mile concrete Drag Strip, a thrilling 8/10-mile Kart Track, and a 250-foot-long Mud Bog. Acquired in January 2011, MIR is a highly acclaimed motorsports facility located in Millington, Tennessee, featuring a formidable 1.8-mile asphalt Road Course, a riveting 1/4-mile Drag Strip, and an enthralling 3/4-mile Tri-Oval Short Track. Added to the IRG portfolio of brands in August 2013, SWIR is a 110-acre venue located at the Pima County Fairgrounds, 10 miles from downtown Tucson, Arizona. The track features a dedicated quarter-mile Drag Strip and first opened in August 1997. CIR is a 190-acre venue in Cordova, Illinois, featuring a 1/4-mile Drag Strip. It hosts the popular World Series of Drag Racing and frequent street drags and bracket racing programs. Acquired in November 2014, MDIR is located in the Baltimore/DC metro market and features a world class 1/4-mile drag strip. It hosts more than 80 events annually, including the World Cup Finals™. Owned and operated since January 2013 by IRG, IHRA is the second-largest drag racing and fourth-largest motorsports sanctioning body. The 44-year-old organization manages two national touring series, the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series™ and Sonic Rush Tour™. With headquarters in Norwalk, Ohio, IHRA sanctions more than 110 motorsports facilities in the U.S. and Canada and has more than 12,000 racers of all skill levels as members. IRG’s subsidiaries now promote more than 950 motorsports, live entertainment and corporate events annually at its venues and series. IRG is also affiliated with Miami’s Auto Museum at The Dezer Collection, Palm Beach Grand Prix, Super Chevy Show Series, Fun Ford Series, and Mega Mopar Action Series.