DELEON, FL -- Volusia Speedway Park announced today a $500,000 overhaul of its main frontstretch grandstand and wall as part of ongoing efforts to provide a top-notch experience for fans and racers at the two-week long, season-opening DIRTcar Nationals.
As the demand for reserved seating continues to grow — with standing-room-only crowds for World of Outlaws shows — the new grandstand will expand reserved seating options and make the overall experience more comfortable for fans. In addition to the grandstand overhaul, upgrades will include a new control tower, flag stand relocation, and additional safety barriers.
“Last year, we made a $300,000 investment in safety upgrades,” explained Volusia Speedway Park CEO Brian Carter. “This year, we’re continuing our wall and fence replacement project down the frontstretch, but also making a significant investment in fan comfort with the new main grandstand. More and more fans are buying reserved seats and looking for new ways to experience racing. We’re doing our best to deliver the most comfortable seating possible and give them fresh options.”
The new grandstand, constructed by motorsports specialists Bleacher Builders, highlights increased seating options with an eye on more comfort and access. The new grandstand will offer four different types of seating, from the standard General Admission seating in the bottom 14 rows to a full, deck-based, VIP experience. Enhancements will improve handicap-accessible areas with elevated viewing, ramps and companion seating. Aisles will be four feet wide throughout for easier access.
Reserved seating, now from rows 15-22, will have contoured seats, back support, an additional six inches of leg room (30-inch spacing between rows, compared to the previous 24-inch spacing), and a higher rise (nearly double) for better visibility.
For the first time ever, Volusia will offer Premium Reserved seating. Rows 23-26 in sections 5-7 — the highest rows with the best views in the house — will have contoured seats and back support, plus an additional 15 inches of leg room (45-inch spacing) and a drink rail.
The all-new Trophy Deck offers an exclusive group of fans the chance to enjoy a VIP experience, borrowing a page from many of the newest stadiums across the country. Fans who like to move around and socialize will have multiple viewing options on an as-available basis — including traditional seating, bar stools, cocktail tables and standing room — while enjoying live race broadcasts, timing & scoring monitors, bar service, and great views of the entire speedway.
A new, modern race control tower, with designated areas for DIRTvision and a better field of view for race officials, will sit above the Trophy Deck. The old tower will be removed, further improving sight lines for fans.
In order to deliver on the promise of better views, the overall height of the new structure will be nearly twice that of the old main grandstand. It will also extend deeper into the Fan Midway, effectively creating a covered concourse with additional concession options and gathering areas.
Changes will occur in front of the grandstand as well. A new flag stand will stand directly in front of the new main grandstand and tower, moving the start/finish line closer to the middle of the frontstretch.
Meanwhile, last year’s wall project, which replaced over 1,000 feet of guardrail, adding a new 46-inch high concrete retaining wall and 17-foot catch fence at the track’s edge through Turns 1 and 2, will continue with nearly another 1,000 feet of new wall and catch fence running the length of the frontstretch.
“It is an amazing time for Volusia Speedway Park with Bleacher Builders crews already dismantling the old grandstand, engineers finalizing designs and contractors getting ready to hit the ground to finish the project by January,” said Carter. “Our goal is to continue to improve the fan experience for the DIRTcar Nationals, the longest [12 nights] and most exciting dirt track racing event in the world.”
“For more than 50 years, Volusia Speedway Park has offered fans and racers a first-class racing experience,” added Carter. “Our plan to redevelop the company's signature motorsports facility will shape the vision of the World’s Fastest Half-Mile for the next 50 years.”
Ticket Packages to the 2019 DIRTcar Nationals, February 5-16, are now on sale to the general public, and fans are encouraged to act quickly to stake their claim to new Reserved, Premium Reserved and Trophy Deck options.
-DIRTcar Racing Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com