Chitwood outlined a multi-million dollar project that will include a new front facade for the speedway, increased fan comfort, wider seats with chair backs and arm rests, better sight lines, more numerous restroom facilities and improved access via elevators, escalators and staircases. Plans call for 11 new concourses along Daytona’s backstretch, complete with state-of-the-art fan amenities and displays outlining the track’s history. Chitwood said he hopes to receive approval from the track’s parent company, International Speedway Corporation, to begin construction in late 2013.
"We're giving this a professional stadium feel, something that makes people want to pull off the side of the road and take a picture,’’ said Chitwood today. "This is all about the fans. And what we’re talking about is massive.’’
The main entrance of the speedway will include an open-air concourse overlooking the track, and each concourse will feature concession stands, souvenir and merchandise retailers and restaurants.
"This is where we show the uniqueness of Daytona, this is who we are,’’ said Chitwood of the main concourse. “As you come here, this will be where you see Daytona for the first time, this is where you (realize) that you are on hallowed ground.
"The name Daytona means something and this is where we re-impress on everyone what Daytona means to our sport."
The new project will not impact the 2014 Daytona 500, with work scheduled around the speedway’s annual GRAND AM, NASCAR and AMA Motorcycle events.
“Whatever we do, the Daytona 500 will absolutely continue to maintain its role as the first event of the NASCAR season,’’ he said.