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ISC approves renovations to Daytona International Speedway

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com | ThatsRacin.com
Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2013

International Speedway Corporation has approved funding to redevelop the frontstretch of Daytona International Speedway to enhance the overall experience for its fans, marketing partners and the motorsports industry.

The multi-year project will break ground on July 5 and is targeted for completion in January 2016, in time for the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 58th Daytona 500.

“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.

"This significant private investment is a strategic use of our capital that 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.”

The redevelopment is expected to cost between $375 million to $400 million, excluding capitalized interest. Total expenditures incurred for the redevelopment through May 31, 2013 were approximately $15 million. The Company expects to fund the redevelopment from cash on hand, cash from its operations and may use borrowings on its credit facility for a limited period of time to even out cash flow.

The vision for the redevelopment of the Daytona International Speedway frontstretch places an emphasis on enhancing the complete fan experience, beginning with five expanded and redesigned fan entrances, or injectors, along International Speedway Boulevard. Each injector would lead directly to a series of escalators and elevators that would transport fans to any of three different concourse levels, each featuring spacious and strategically-placed social "neighborhoods" along the nearly mile-long frontstretch.

A total of 11 neighborhoods, each measuring the size of a football field, will enable fans to meet and socialize during events without ever missing any on-track action, thanks to an open-sightline design throughout each concourse and dozens of added video screens in every neighborhood.

Every seat in the Speedway frontstretch will be replaced with wider and more comfortable seating, with more restrooms and concession stands throughout the facility. At the conclusion of the redevelopment, DIS will be comprised of approximately 101,000 permanent seats with the potential to increase permanent seating to 125,000.

Following an unsuccessful bid for a public/private partnership with the State of Florida during the most recent legislative session, the company was forced to reduce the scale of its redevelopment plan. In 2014, the company intends to pursue incentives including those currently available to all other major sports venues in Florida. ISC will reevaluate additional potential amenities based on the outcome of those efforts. Construction for the redevelopment project will begin after the 2013 Coke Zero 400 NASCAR weekend.

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