“We are truly creating history with this unprecedented endeavor,” said ISC’s Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy. “I commend the board’s decision to move forward on our plan to redevelop the Company’s signature motorsports facility, thereby shaping the vision of Daytona for the next 50 years.
“The decision was made with strong consideration of the current macroeconomic condition and a clear view for our long-term growth,” Ms. France Kennedy continued. “This significant private investment… will ensure the long-term viability of the iconic speedway, and when completed, will contribute favorably to the Company's revenues, as well as to our community and the sport as a whole.
|ISC's Lesa France Kennedy|
“The redevelopment of Daytona International Speedway reaffirms its status as the ‘World Center of Racing’ for years to come,” said France Kennedy. “It is imperative that we build upon my grandfather’s vision to create a world-class facility with premium amenities to provide unparalleled experiences for our guests and partners. Doing so will ensure that the DAYTONA 500 and all our other events continue to drive our business while serving as a significant economic engine for the region.”
The redevelopment is expected to cost between $375 million and $400 million, excluding capitalized interest. ISC was denied recently in its bid to forge a public/private partnership with the State of Florida during the most recent legislative session, forcing ISC to reduce the scale of its redevelopment plan. A proposed mixed-use development across from Daytona International Speedway remains in the planning stage, subject to a number of approvals.
The Daytona frontstretch will include five expanded and redesigned fan entrances along International Speedway Boulevard. Each entrance will lead directly to a series of escalators and elevators that will transport fans to three different concourse levels, each featuring strategically-placed social "neighborhoods" along the nearly mile-long frontstretch.
A total of 11 neighborhoods, each measuring the size of a football field, will include an open-sightline design and dozens of video screens, enabling fans to meet and socialize without missing any on-track action. The central neighborhood, dubbed the "World Center of Racing," will celebrate the history of Daytona International Speedway and its many unforgettable moments throughout more than 50 years of racing.
Existing frontstretch seats will be replaced with wider and more comfortable seating, and more restrooms and concession stands will be constructed throughout the facility. At the conclusion of the redevelopment, Daytona International Speedway will include approximately 101,000 permanent seats, with the potential to increase permanent seating to 125,000.
Construction will begin after the Coke Zero 400 weekend in July, but next year’s Budweiser Speedweeks, Daytona Supercross by Honda, Daytona 200 and Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola, will be held as scheduled. There will be no capacity changes for the 2014 DAYTONA 500. The eventual decrease in capacity will occur in stages following the DAYTONA 500 and will include the complete removal of the backstretch grandstand by the start of the 2016 season. The new frontstretch will also include 53 suites offering superb views of the track.
“We will take great care of our loyal existing customers throughout this renovation,” said ISC President John Saunders today. “They can expect to receive additional direct communication as we proceed with construction.”
Daytona International Speedway and ISC's operations in Daytona Beach generate $1.6 billion in annual economic benefit to the state of Florida.
A major overhaul of the speedway’s midway was tabled when the Florida legislature declined to help fund the project. “It is unfortunate we are forced to scale back some elements,” said Saunders, “but the project will be designed for additional enhancements should future economic incentives present themselves.”
He said ISC will pursue incentives, “including those currently available to all other major sports venues in Florida,” in 2014, and will reevaluate additional projects based on the outcome of those efforts.