SBD/July 7, 2014/Facilities

Renovated Daytona Int'l Speedway Vision Includes Music Festivals, Sporting Events

Wider seats will be installed at Daytona as part of the project
Members of the national news media took a tour of the $400M renovation to Daytona Int'l Speedway on Friday, and many of their questions "focused on what the Speedway’s plans are once the project is complete," according to Dinah Voyles Pulver of the Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL. They had "heard the Speedway hopes to attract concerts, football games and other events." DIS President Joie Chitwood III said, "I would envision a music festival and some other unique sporting events." He added that DIS has to "make sure any additions fit with the current schedule," meaning the new non-racing events are "likely to occur in the fall and summer ... rather than during the Speedway’s busiest season in January through March." Chitwood said music festival promoters believe the area is "perfect, with three or four distinct areas to create multiple stages." Chitwood: "I’m not sure you could have a hockey game here. But with the way technology is, I’ve seen crazier things" (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 7/5). NASCAR Chair Brian France said of Daytona Rising, "When it’s all said and done, as (Chitwood) says quite frequently, (it will be) the only sports stadium for a racetrack in the country. Our fans will really appreciate those benefits, the escalators, the social media zones and all the rest." He added that other NASCAR tracks "may want to adopt aspects of the project as they consider upgrades of their own." France: "Every track has to have its own identity, and it has to do what it thinks is important in the marketplace that they compete in. Now, will it be something that other tracks want to emulate? I think it will" (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 7/6).

CREATURES OF COMFORT: In Daytona Beach, Chris Graham noted thousands of "wider, more comfortable seats will be installed" as part of the project. Fans also will  "be able to use escalators and elevators to get to their seats and use landing areas to interact and post to social media sites." New York resident Terry Crowningshield, who has been coming to the Speedway with her husband for the past five years, said, "I hope they don't outprice the families." Chitwood said that fans will "see minimal price increases based on where they sit" (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 7/6).
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