Daytona Redevelopment Moves Forward
June 18, 2013 | 11:21 A.M. EST
International Speedway Corporation has approved funding for a three-year, $375 million project to redevelop the frontstretch of Daytona International Speedway, its 54-year-old flagship motor sports facility. (Rendering: Daytona International Speedway)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – International Speedway Corporation has approved funding to redevelop the frontstretch of Daytona International Speedway, the company’s 54-year-old flagship motor sports facility.
The multi-year project will enhance the overall experience for fans, marketing partners and the racing industry. Groundbreaking is scheduled for July 5 with completion in January 2016.
"We are creating history with this unprecedented endeavor," said ISC Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy. "I commend the board’s decision to move forward, thereby shaping the vision of Daytona for the next 50 years. The decision was made with strong consideration of the current macroeconomic condition and a clear view for our long-term growth.
"This significant private investment is a strategic use of our capital that will ensure the long-term viability of the iconic speedway and, when completed, will contribute favorably to the company's revenues, our community and the sport as a whole."
The redevelopment is expected to cost between $375 and $400 million excluding capitalized interest. Total expenditures incurred through May 31 were approximately $15 million. ISC, parent company of the Motor Racing Network, expects to fund the redevelopment from cash on hand and cash from its operations, and may use borrowings on its credit facility for a limited period of time to even out cash flow.
The five-year capital expenditure plan (2013-2017) the ISC’s Board of Directors approved is not to exceed $600 million over that period. This is consistent with the company's previous guidance on its average annual capital expenditures range of between $100 and $120 million for the next several years. The five-year capital expenditure plan encompasses all capital expenditures for ISC’s 13 major motor sports facilities including the Daytona International Speedway redevelopment, as well as any equity commitments to undertake a proposed mixed-use entertainment-oriented destination development across from DIS, which is still in the planning stage and subject to approvals.
The vision for the redevelopment of the Daytona International Speedway frontstretch places an emphasis on enhancing the complete fan experience, beginning with five expanded fan entrances along International Speedway Boulevard. Each would lead directly to a series of escalators and elevators that would transport fans to any of three different concourse levels, each featuring spacious social "neighborhoods" along the nearly mile-long frontstretch.
A total of 11 neighborhoods, each the size of a football field, will enable fans to meet and socialize during events without ever missing any on-track action thanks to an open design throughout each concourse and dozens of video screens in every neighborhood. The central neighborhood, dubbed "The World Center of Racing," would celebrate the history of the speedway and its many unforgettable moments throughout more than 50 years of racing.
Every seat along the frontstretch will be replaced with wider, more comfortable seating with more restrooms and concession stands throughout the facility. At the conclusion of the redevelopment, Daytona International Speedway will be comprised of approximately 101,000 permanent seats with the potential to increase capacity to 125,000.
There will be no changes for the 2014 Daytona 500. The eventual decrease in capacity could occur in stages following next year's "500" and will include the complete removal of the backstretch grandstand by the start of the 2016 motor sports season. By moving all seating to the frontstretch, all attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy a full race-day experience including pre-race ceremonies, pit road action and the new amenities.
"We'll take great care of our loyal customers throughout this renovation," said ISC President John Saunders. "They can expect to receive additional direct communication as we proceed with construction."
The redevelopment also will provide an expansive platform for ISC’s corporate marketing partners. Hospitality is elevated with a completely revamped design that will exceed partners’ expectations for a more intimate, affordable and effective experience. The new frontstretch will include 53 suites offering superior views of the track.
Daytona International Speedway and ISC's operations in Daytona Beach generate $1.6 billion in annual economic benefit to the state of Florida. Following an unsuccessful bid for a public/private partnership with the State of Florida during the most recent legislative session, ISC was forced to reduce the scale of its redevelopment plan. Among the features that were revised and no longer included in the redevelopment plan was a major overhaul of the midway area.
"It's unfortunate (that) we are forced to scale back some elements," Saunders said. "But the project will be designed for additional enhancements should future economic incentives present themselves."
In 2014, ISC intends to pursue incentives including those currently available to all other major sports venues in Florida. ISC will reevaluate additional potential amenities based on the outcome of those efforts.
Construction for the redevelopment project will begin after the next month's Coke Zero 400 NASCAR weekend. The redevelopment will impact certain ancillary events at the speedway through 2014. However, major races such as those associated with Budweiser Speedweeks, the Daytona Supercross by Honda, the Daytona 200 and the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola will be held as scheduled. Additional information on events beyond 2014 will be provided upon completion of the full construction schedule.
"The redevelopment of Daytona International Speedway reaffirms its status as 'The World Center of Racing’ for years to come," said Ms. France Kennedy. "It's imperative that we build upon my grandfather’s vision to create a world-class facility with premium amenities to provide unparalleled experiences for our guests and partners. Doing so will ensure that the Daytona 500 and our other events continue to drive business while serving as a significant economic engine for the region."
To learn more about the redevelopment project, fans can visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/redevelopment or www.redevelopdaytona.com.