It took the Romans approximately eight years to build the Coliseum.
It’s taking a considerably shorter period, less than three years, to finish the $400 million Daytona Rising project for Daytona International Speedway, a project that will completely alter the fan experience while being one of the most modern public stadiums ever.
“We’re thrilled to reach the two-year mark in the Daytona Rising project,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III last month. “We will keep up the momentum and remain on schedule so that our fans can see the world’s first motorsports stadium in January 2016.”
So far, over 40,000 new seats have been installed near the west end of the Speedway along with 14,000 seats in the east end. The reimagining of the stadium will feature new concessions, restrooms, several new “neighborhood” areas, and there will be more of what the Speedway officials call “vertical transportation options,” i.e. far more escalators and elevators for attendees to use.
The goal for completion of construction is January of next year. I toured the construction over a year ago, and what struck me at the time is that this is the dawn of the high-tech construction project. The builder, Barton-Malow, has been using codes to track every item needed for construction, as well as real-time progress on the site, and the blueprints are completely digitized for quick access, with notes added immediately for any changes during construction. It’s the first of this type of project to go all digital, but, obviously, many will follow its lead.
Not only that, but, once open, the Speedway hopes to use technology to enhance the fan experience. Wifi will be free for attendees and there are plans to use RFID technology to tailor the experience to each specific fan.
It’s a new chapter for Daytona Speedway, which originally started as a track for racers who moved from races along Daytona Beach. The entire area has a rich history of racing and speed innovation.
The upcoming construction activities for the project this fall and winter include the completion of escalator installation, the initial installation of a solar array structure, ongoing installation of trackside suite tower glass, and continued development of hospitality areas/suites to add to those already being used.
At the conclusion of the redevelopment, there will be 101,500 permanent, wider, and more comfortable seats, twice as many restrooms, and three times as many concession stands. Plus, the Speedway will feature over 60 luxury suites with track-side views and a completely revamped hospitality experience for corporate guests. Luxury suites have been a hallmark of new stadium construction in baseball and football, to maximize profits and provide services for the super fans.
Daytona Rising is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Daytona 500 on February 20th.
Barton-Malow, which also renovated the University of Michigan “Big House” and the Rose Bowl, is serving as the design-builder for Daytona Rising. Rossetti, an award-winning architectural design and planning firm for the past 40 years, is leading the master planning of the Daytona Rising site. Rossetti also headed the design for Ford Field NFL Stadium, University of Notre Dame Compton Family Ice Arena, and five Major League Soccer Stadiums.
Interested in seeing how it all turns out? You don’t have to visit the stadium to find out. Track the progress at Daytona Rising or connect with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Fans can see the construction project up close by taking one of the daily tours available at the Speedway on non-event days throughout the year or visit the Speedway Ticket and Tours Building at the Speedway for more information.
All images in this post provided by Daytona International Speedway.