SBD/December 4, 2013/Events and Attractions

Motorsports Marketing Forum: Daytona Rising A Key Factor In Drawing More Fans

Kennedy says fewer entrances at DIS will help increase sponsor exposure
ISC Vice Chair & CEO Lesa France Kennedy said that adding digital technologies as part of the $400M Daytona Rising project could be the biggest factor in getting more fans to the race track. Speaking at the ’13 NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum, Kennedy said 1,600 video screens, new WiFi capabilities and the addition of infrastructure to support 4G coverage is “really going to take it to the next level." Kennedy: "That will probably make the biggest difference.” She added, “How often do you go to a sporting event and you’re not connected to the outside world? It’s just not a great experience. People don’t like that. I don’t like that. And we’re going to try and change that.” Part of the project is widening all front-stretch seats to 20-21 inches, while seats on the lower levels will be 12 feet higher than they are now to improve sightlines. Kennedy said the speedway’s backstretch grandstand will be demolished following the ’15 Daytona 500. “I liken it to a house,” she said. “Sometimes you continue to renovate and it’s all working good. But at some point it’s time to tear down and start anew. And that’s what we’re doing.” Kennedy said the project is “slightly ahead of schedule” for its ’16 unveiling.

EASIER ENTRY: As part of the project, DIS also is reducing its number of fan entrances from 17 to five -- what Kennedy called “injectors.” She said condensing to five entrances will help with overall traffic flow, and that corporate sponsorship opportunities for the injectors will be “unparalleled.” Kennedy: “That’s going to bring fans closer and closer to their sponsors. There are going to be so many other opportunities to integrate that race-day experience.” She also said the renovation will result in “various levels of ticket pricing,” but that fans still will be able to get into the speedway for “under $100.” Kennedy: “I don’t know where you’re going to get a value like that. I’m really pleased to be able to offer that.”

For more from the Motorsports Marketing Forum, please see our On The Ground blog.
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