Daytona Reveals Renovation Concepts

Daytona

With an eye toward providing a fan experience second-to-none in motorsports, the plan starts with a new massive entrance to the speedway.

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Daytona International Speedway has revealed detailed concepts of its proposed redevelopment project designed to enhance the fan experience.

During Friday's press conference, DIS President Joie Chitwood conducted a virtual “walk through” of how "The World Center of Racing" would be transformed.  With an eye toward providing a fan experience second to none in motor sports, the plan starts with a massive new entrance to the speedway.

"For us, it's the front door," Chitwood said, "the opportunity to know you're here at Daytona.  When you see this massive entrance way, the brand itself stands out.  For me, it's about being pulled off the road and saying, 'I have to take a picture with that.' "

Another major initiative is to improve vertical transportation inside the arena, i.e. getting fans up and down levels to their seats.  The installation of over 40 escalators inside the track, which presently has none, will give fans the ability to go from the top to the bottom row with ease.

 

Chitwood believes the initial impression made with a fan at the track’s front door is imperative to ensuring an enjoyable experience.  Once inside, the chance to move around freely and take advantage of the many new amenities planned is a key to instilling in the fan a feeling that Daytona International Speedway is a special place.

“It’s a way to make sure that our core fans still enjoy that experience," Chitwood said.  "But to be candid ... with new fans out there, the expectation for these types of amenities in these new arenas and new stadiums are pretty high so we have to match up to that.”

The facility will be segmented into 11 different “neighborhoods,” all offering a variety of food, beverages, bars and restrooms - with a social area the size of a football field.

"It’s the opportunity to sit down with family and friends,” Chitwood said about the neighborhoods.  “(A place) to tweet out that photo.  To do something unique to take that break so you can actually talk about how great the experience is."

The 11th neighborhood, known as “The World Center of Racing,” would be the largest of the groups.  The open-air central gathering area will allow fans to see the track for the first time upon their entrance.  It will combine technology with audio/video displays to recount NASCAR’s history.

"We want every customer at some point in their experience to walk through "The World Center of Racing (Zone)," Chitwood said, “so they understand that they've walked on hallowed ground, understand that this is more than a sports property and this is more than a race."

The proposed project is subject to approval by senior management of the International Speedway Corporation, which owns DIS, with several economic stability factors as well as construction design and costs still to be evaluated.  The project may also be impacted by state legislation that would include incentives for surpassing significant levels of private investment.

However, Chitwood remains hopeful that the progress and ideas will remain on track.

“When you think about what Daytona does,” Chitwood said, “Daytona is a sports property that’s been here for over 50 years.  It’s the largest sporting facility in the state of Florida.  We generate 1.6 billion (dollars) in economic impact annually.  Over 60 percent of our race-day crowd is out-of-state.  No other venue in the state of Florida can make a claim to the impact we have, not just in our community but throughout central Florida and the state of Florida.  For that, we are proud."

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