Nürburgring For-Sale Sign Goes Up
- The Nürburgring, Germany's legendary race circuit, is for sale for a reported price of $161 million.
- The circuit filed for bankruptcy last summer, with quoted debts of more than 350 million Euros (more than $450 million).
- A big and ambitious leisure park (dubbed NuroDisney) was built within the 'Ring complex between 2007-'09 as a new business venture, yet this has never brought in the visitor numbers or revenues expected.
NÜRBURGRING, Germany — It's one of the most revered — and feared — tracks in the world but for the Nürburgring, the future is currently anything but clear.
That's because this famous track, dubbed "the Green Hell" filed for bankruptcy last summer and is now up for sale.
Reported price: 125 million Euros or $161 million.
Behind the scenes, the administration of the Nürburgring has been dogged by controversy for some time while its funding structure is best described as "complex."
The Nurburging's star feature remains the Nordschleife, the celebrated 12.9-mile track that winds sinuously through the Eifel mountains and which hosted the German F1 Grand Prix up until 1976.
A big and ambitious leisure park was built adjacent to the track between 2007-'09. This has been a commercial failure from day one, attracting too few visitors to the remote Eifel area to offset the huge building costs. Nurburging GmbH, which controls the whole complex filed for bankruptcy last July and the fate of the circuit has been in flux ever since.
It remains to be seen whether the Nürburgring will be sold off as a complete package, track and leisure park together, or piece-by-piece.
Enthusiasts fear that a new buyer may close the Ring to outsiders, stopping the hugely popular "tourist drives" whereby anybody in any car or bike can turn up and run the fabulous Nordscheife to their heart's content.
The German track also remains a mecca for automakers that test and develop high-performance cars on the Nordschleife. Some have even suggested that a group of manufacturers may get together to buy parts of the track.
After the bankruptcy filing, the Nurburging had to negotiate long and hard with F1 supremo Bernie Eccelstone to run the German GP this summer. Eventually, a deal was signed and the German GP will run on the shorter, modern Nurburging track on July 7.
Before that, the track will host the classic Nürburgring 24 Hours touring car race over May 17-20.
Edmunds says: The fabulous and irreplaceable Nürburgring has had a financial cloud hanging over it for far too long. The sale hopefully will prove a positive turning point for the track.