The Daytona International Speedway announced today their plans to completely redesign their frontstretch grandstands as well as the fan amenities. The project is expected to be complete by January of 2016, just in time for the 58th Annual Daytona 500. Daytona unveiled their plans for the project back in February, but now they have the green flag to begin this massive reconstruction.
A major goal in the project is to improve the fan experience. By giving Daytona a more modern look, track officials believe that it will only enhance what the fans perceive Daytona as. A part of the project that will overall cost between $375 and $400 million dollars is five redesigned fan entrances. Once fans enter the track, they’ll be transported by elevators or escalators to one of three concourse levels. Daytona will likely be the first track to have escalators in place to move fans rather than stair-cases.
With the reconstruction will also come some destruction. The backstretch grandstands will be removed during the project which will leave the only seats at the speedway on the frontstretch. The seating capacity at the track will also take a plunge. Going from about 147,000 seats to only 101,000. If fan demand for the speedway does increase, the track could increase the seating to 125,000.
One of the biggest ways Daytona can modernize is by adding a social media aspect to their grandstands and they’ll be doing exactly that. Social “neighborhoods” will be set-up along the frontstretch grandstands so fans can have easy access to them. They will have an open view to the race-track so fans won’t miss any of the action while socializing with fellow fans. There will be 11 of these neighborhoods and each will span the length of a football field.
Following this project, Daytona will be the track of all tracks. The new design has one group of people in mind and that is the fans. Fans can expect a phenomenal track experience when the project is complete. The start of it will be following the July Race Weekend this year, but it will not affect anything seating wise for the 2014 Daytona 500. The World Center of Racing will regain its glory with this overhaul of the grandstands and by its completion; there will be nothing to compare it to. The 2016 Daytona 500 is sure to be one hot ticket.
By Jason Schultz