SBD/February 22, 2013/NASCAR Season Preview

Daytona Speedway Renovations To Include Expansive Concourses, Large Concession Areas



DIS will have a new grand entrance similar to that of NFL stadiums
Daytona Int’l Speedway on Friday unveiled the first interior images of its planned renovation. The fan-friendly changes include the addition of expansive concourses, concession areas as large as football fields and dozens of escalators that will ferry people around the track. DIS President Joie Chitwood said, “We want you to leave knowing you were at a special place. Are you able to take a piece of Daytona home with you so that when you speak to your friends and family, you talk about a property with true history?” Chitwood showed three interior images of the venue that offered the first glimpse of 44 escalators that would lead into the stadium’s five grand entrances, an open concourse where fans would see the track for the first time, and 11 football-sized “neighborhoods” where fans could get concessions, interact and use wireless or Wi-Fi technology. DIS already has secured approval for a zoning change that allows it to renovate the 53-year-old track. Chitwood and Rossetti, the architecture firm working on the project, are in the process of finalizing the redesign and hope to present it to ISC’s senior management and board later this year for approval. The new DIS would look far more like a contemporary NFL stadium than a racetrack. It would have a grand entrance that leads to an open concourse where fans could read about the history of the track before seeing it for the first time. The renovated track would have three concourse levels, which would divide the grandstands and dramatically reduce the number of stairs fans have to descend in order to reach concession areas. Chitwood said, “Our core fans know what it’s like to walk down those stairs at about lap 100. Fans expectations for these new arenas and new amenities out there, they’re pretty high.” Suites will be on the fifth, sixth and seventh level, but Chitwood said the track will not announce its hospitality and sponsor amenities until a later date.

LEGISLATION BEING FILED NEXT WEEK: The track next week will file legislation with Florida’s state government saying that if it spends $250M, it will gain some tax rebates that other sports teams get in the state. He declined to say how much money the track would recoup if the state legislature approved the public-private partnership. The Florida senate recently reviewed a bill that would give the Dolphins an annual sales tax rebate of $3M a year to help the club cover a proposed $400M Sun Life Stadium renovation. Chitwood described a similar public-private partnership, adding that state support would bolster his business case to ISC senior management. Chitwood: “Without that, senior management might say, ‘We’re not ready for this.’ I think that public-private partnership makes a lot of sense.” Chitwood said if DIS can get senior management approval later this year, the construction will be a multiyear process, and the track will work around its race schedule throughout the renovation. He added if they go ahead with the renovation, the track would explore bringing other events to the facility such as EPL matches.
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