Community reacts to closing of New London-Waterford racetrack

WATERFORD -- Travis Herman has been going to the New London-Waterford Speedbowl for almost his entire life. As an avid racer, he considers the racetrack a major part of his life.

"It's like the biggest family you can ever have honestly," said Herman.

But his emotions were especially high when he found out it would close down following the fallout of its owner.

"I was angry, absolutely angry," says Herman.

In March, 63-year-old Bruce Beamer was arrested for a decades long prostitution ring involving mentally disabled young men. The Speedbowl has been closed since then but a spokesperson for the ownership of the racetrack released the following statement:

“Although any announcement regarding a possible agreement to lease the New London-Waterford Speedbowl for the upcoming season is premature, management is working to preserve the upcoming season and jobs at the Speedbowl.”

Waterford First Selectman Dan Steward said he's also looking to preserve the future of the Speedbowl.

"We've asked for the bleachers to be fixed. We want it to be a safe venue for the public," said Steward.

Despite the seriousness of Beamer's actions, he understands how important the Speedbowl is to the community.