Daytona Int'l Speedway Gets City Approval For Massive Grandstand Overhaul
Daytona Int'l Speedway and Int'l Speedway Corp. on Thursday "got the final yes vote they needed out of City Hall to charge forward with their plan to tackle a major overhaul of the Speedway's front stretch grandstands," according to Eileen Zaffiro-Kean of the Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL. The unanimous approval of the site plan from the city's Planning Board was "the last of several hurdles ISC and DIS had to clear before they could move from engineers' drawings to bulldozers in their hopes of redesigning the front stretch grandstands, adding new vendors, creating five new fan entrances, possibly doubling seating and renovating restrooms." DIS President Joie Chitwood said, "We're well on our way for what Daytona can be for the next 50 years." Track officials "are planning a transformation of the properties, which now include a good share of open land, into a racing and entertainment complex that could eventually include new hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, movie theaters, shops and possibly a casino or two if state law changes to allow them." The complex also could include "up to 2 million square feet of retail space, 1,785 hotel rooms, 1,500 multi-family residential units and movie theaters with a combined 5,000 seats." Speedway officials said that it "could take decades to reach that full vision, and they're just now beginning to talk to potential developers and businesses." The start of "the grandstand makeover could be a year or more away" (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 10/26).