Friday, February 22, 2013 12:22 pm
Daytona set for fan-friendly extreme makeover
By DAN GELSTONAP Sports Writer
Track President Joie Chitwood announced plans Friday for the largest renovations in Daytona history, a project he said would keep the Speedway "the world center of racing for years to come."
The proposed expansion is subject to approval by senior management of the International Speedway Corp., which owns Daytona International Speedway, pending several economic stability factors as well as construction design and costs. The project may also be impacted by state legislation that would include incentives for surpassing significant private investment levels.
If all the red tape is cleared, Daytona would get a whole new look, with construction starting later this year.
Fans would be the biggest beneficiaries of the sweeping changes.
Every seat in front stretch would be replaced with new and comfortable seating. The track would add more restrooms and concessions stands with easier access points for fans.
Racing fans would be welcomed into a new facade, complete with five expanded and redesigned entrance gates along International Speedway Boulevard. Fans could take escalators to different concourses, each featuring "neighborhoods" along the mile-long front stretch. Each of 11 neighborhoods would measure the size of a football field and would allow fans to meet and eat without missing the action, thanks to open-sightline designs and dozens of video screens.
The track also plans the "World Center of Racing," that would serve as a nod to the history of the track and its memorable moments over 50 years of race.
Chitwood said construction would be completed in phases and would not affect the Daytona 500.