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Thursday, 15 May 2014 12:00cat

Daytona Rising Project Making Progress

Written by  TheStructuralEngineer.info
DIS hopes the new grandstand will offer one of the best fan experiences in motorsports DIS hopes the new grandstand will offer one of the best fan experiences in motorsports DIS

Daytona International Speedway is one the most famous racetracks in the world and prides itself on offering fans one of the best race day experiences of any track in NASCAR. Each year, the 2.5-mile long superspeedway hosts the Daytona 500 in February, another NASCAR race around the 4th of July, and the Rolex 24 endurance race in January. The Daytona Rising project at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) in Florida broke ground last summer. The $400 million renovation aims to upgrade the front stretch grandstand’s exterior appearance and improve fan experience on race days. The new grandstand will feature 11 football field sized “neighborhoods” that will allow fans to socialize and interact with one another during the race without missing any of the action.  DIS is working closely with design-builder Barton Mallow to ensure the three-year project runs smoothly and does not interfere with any race preparation or activities.

Once Daytona Rising finishes, DIS will become one of the few speedways in the world that looks more like a professional baseball stadium than a racetrack. The exterior will have a better appearance than the steel erector set look it currently sports. Barton Mallow has already poured 13,000 cubic yards of concrete and installed 7,000 tons of steel to upgrade the grandstand. There are currently an average of 390 workers helping build the project each day, and Barton Mallow has subcontracted many parts of the renovation to local Florida contractors. Barton Mallow project director Len Moser commented on the size of the project and how it affected plans to build the grandstand. “Somebody equated this to a 4,000-foot-high building that is lying on its side,” Moser said. “When you think about building a building from the ground up, you think about building it floor by floor.  In our case, we have a tall building laying on its side and working every floor at the same time.”  Work will continue at the current pace until it stops to allow the speedway to prepare for the July 5th Coke Zero 400. After the race, Barton Mallow will use even more workers on site and take advantage of the 6-month gap until the next race.

The completed Daytona grandstand hopes to offer one of the best fan experiences in sports. There will be 5 entrances to the grandstands, and each entrance will have elevators and escalators going to each of the three concourses. The 11 neighborhoods along the track will allow fans to interact with one another and buy concessions without missing any action due to the open sightline designs and video screens in each neighborhood. The project will actually widen every seat and allow DIS to close the backstretch grandstand. The speedway will have 101,000 permanent seats and could expand to 125,000 in the future.  If the project stays on schedule, Daytona Rising will be completed in time for the 2016 Rolex 24 and Daytona 500. There is currently a bill approved by the Florida Legislature and waiting on Governor Rick Scotts signature that would allow Daytona International Speedway and other Florida sports teams to receive sales tax refunds from the sales generated by the speedway. The bill would provide more capital to DIS to improve other aspects of the track.

Sources: DIS.comNews-Journal

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