Daytona Hopes Approval Will Clear the Way for Renovation


(from Sports Business Journal, October 15-21) International Speedway Corporation (ISC), owner of the 53-year-old speedway, is hoping to receive approval this week from Daytona Beach City Commission to start renovations in 2013 or 2014 season. The plan was submitted last June to rezone the speedway from a major sports district to a “plan master development zone.”

Daytona Speedway has seen several renovations since its opening, including having to be repaved in 2011. Many fans still sit in original seating from when the speedway opened. According to the Orlando Sentinel, if approved the renovation would have no effect on the up-and-coming February race.

In order to receive approval, a majority vote by a seven member City Commission is required. Daytona President, Joie Chitwood III, states, “We hope that we will get approval. We think we’ve been able to resolve any concerns the city has had about the design and our plans. I feel really good about it.” If majority vote, the International Speedway Corporation will proceed planning to overhaul the speedway’s grandstand, provide new suites, and create a more modern exterior. The City Commission meetings held this past week included Chitwood, an attorney from the speedway’s law firm, and members of the International Speedway Corporation’s design team were on board to answer questions regarding renovation planning.

Currently, Daytona International Speedway holds approximately 147,000 fans and 17 gate entrances. After renovation, hopes are to cut the gate entrances down to five while focusing on cornerstone corporate sponsorships. Little renovation plans have been released to the public, but Rosetti, a Michigan-based firm who designed venues such as Ford Field and Red Bull Arena, has the affirmative to complete the renovation plans.

In a statement within the June 29th issue of the Orlando Sentinel, Chitwood says, “We really think it’s time to think about the next 50 years of the Daytona speedway and what’s best for us and what’s best for our fans.” Upon approval, Chitwood will proceed to go to the ISC board for funding approval.