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DATE News (chronologically)
02/28/13
track news
Daytona Renovations To Include Expansive Concourses, Large Concession Areas UPDATE
DIS will have a new grand entrance similar to that of NFL stadiums
Daytona International Speedway, eyeing a massive overhaul of its frontstretch grandstands, is hoping to receive millions of dollars a year in sales tax rebates after the renovation is complete.

A bill filed Tuesday afternoon in Tallahassee would enable the Speedway to receive more than $60 million over 30 years, similar to the rebates enjoyed by other professional sports teams in Florida for two decades.

State Rep. David Santiago, the bill's sponsor, said he was told the Speedway project could cost up to $450 million, while another local legislator said it would create thousands of construction jobs.

"The property has been here for so long, the economic impact is significant in terms of $1.6 billion annually, we're bringing in so many people from out of the state of Florida and we're willing and want to invest in our hometown," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood.

Later this year, Chitwood plans to go to the Speedway's parent company, International Speedway Corp., to lay out the future plans for the 54-year-old track. Chitwood hopes to get the OK and financial backing of ISC to add new seats throughout the frontstretch, provide new escalators and elevators, and create five huge entranceways for the facility.

He'd also like to build 10 football field-sized concourses for fans to relax and one even larger that would celebrate local racing history and give fans an elevated open-air spot to socialize and watch races. Chitwood would not confirm the estimated cost of the project.

Eventually, the Speedway would like to add hotels, restaurants, movie theaters and shops on its hundreds of acres of vacant land around the track.

Through the bill, the Speedway is seeking three sales tax refunds and rebates that would kick in after the renovation of the frontstretch grandstands is complete.

The first would be contingent on the Speedway investing at least $250 million of its money in the overhaul over a four-year period. Afterward, the Speedway would be reimbursed for the sales tax spent on building materials for the construction, according to the legislation. That would be a one-time refund.

Then for the next 30 years, the Speedway would receive up to $2 million annually in sales tax rebates for sales at the Speedway. Other professional sports teams in Florida have enjoyed that rebate for the past 20 years or so, but motorsports have been specifically excluded.

The Speedway also is seeking a second ongoing rebate, based on additional sales tax revenue generated by the project. Daytona Beach News Journal

02/22/13 Daytona Int’l Speedway on Friday unveiled the first interior images of its planned renovation. The fan-friendly changes include the addition of expansive concourses, concession areas as large as football fields and dozens of escalators that will ferry people around the track. DIS President Joie Chitwood said, “We want you to leave knowing you were at a special place. Are you able to take a piece of Daytona home with you so that when you speak to your friends and family, you talk about a property with true history?” 

Chitwood showed three interior images of the venue that offered the first glimpse of 44 escalators that would lead into the stadium’s five grand entrances, an open concourse where fans would see the track for the first time, and 11 football-sized “neighborhoods” where fans could get concessions, interact and use wireless or Wi-Fi technology. DIS already has secured approval for a zoning change that allows it to renovate the 53-year-old track. Chitwood and Rossetti, the architecture firm working on the project, are in the process of finalizing the redesign and hope to present it to ISC’s senior management and board later this year for approval.

The new DIS would look far more like a contemporary NFL stadium than a racetrack. It would have a grand entrance that leads to an open concourse where fans could read about the history of the track before seeing it for the first time. The renovated track would have three concourse levels, which would divide the grandstands and dramatically reduce the number of stairs fans have to descend in order to reach concession areas. Chitwood said, “Our core fans know what it’s like to walk down those stairs at about lap 100. Fans expectations for these new arenas and new amenities out there, they’re pretty high.” Suites will be on the fifth, sixth and seventh level, but Chitwood said the track will not announce its hospitality and sponsor amenities until a later date. Tripp Mickle, Sports Business Daily

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