Autosports are speeding into the 21st century without glancing in the rearview mirror. DAYTONA Rising was a $400-million project that overhauled the approach of ‘what a race experience could be’ at the Daytona International Speedway. The stadium boasts 101,500 seats, 60 suites, 520 club seats, nearly 2,000 televisions, and a 4,000-foot long Grandstand. By honoring the past 60 years while upgrading the fan experience to modern standards, ROSSETTI’s reimagining of the speedway into the first motorsports stadium in the world is helping to guide the sport for the next generation of racing fans.
Let’s look back on some fun facts about the venue before the Daytona 500 kicks off this weekend.
1. DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY IS THE WINNER OF 12 DESIGN AWARDS, INCLUDING 2016 SPORTS FACILITY OF THE YEAR
Although DIS has been an iconic venue for 50 years, improvements to the venue came few and far between. The scale of the 500-acre site was daunting, but ROSSETTI’s challenge was to create a unique experience for racing fans on a site with a looming legacy. Some of the ways they enhanced the venue included five branded "injector" entrances to fuel the fan experience, a ‘neighborhoods’ concept to diversify social spaces, upgraded hospitality, and most viscerally, a dynamic skin surface inspired by a stock car which emphasized speed and aerodynamics. The end result culminated in a deluge of awards, including the 2016 Sports Facility of the Year.
2. FAN INJECTORS FUEL THE EXPERIENCE
When fans first arrive at the facility, their first stop is the Midway – a welcoming, concession-filled party that leads directly to the colorful Injector entrances. Whether you go in through the Toyota Injector or the bold blue Sunoco Injector, you’re crossing into an immersive fan-tailored experience, with every neighborhood offering something new. The Injectors were designed to work together as points of destination and are scaled to be substantial. Each Injector takes in 20,000 fans each. According to Derek Muldowney, Executive Vice President for ISC Design & Development, “the genius behind the project is the Injectors. They make the project work.”
3. THERE ARE 11 NEIGHBORHOODS TO EXPLORE
Come early to explore the neighborhoods! With the scale of the concourse being so large (1.2-million square feet), ROSSETTI had to implement urban design strategies to create comfortable, human-scaled experiences beyond the race. The social spaces have been carved into 11 distinct neighborhoods for the fans to stretch their legs and enjoy. There was a variety of methods the designers used to emphasize the theme of each hood, including branded column wraps and metal panels, and lighting fixtures as placemaking. The only neighborhood with track views is the World Center of Racing, which also celebrates the history and legacy of the sport at the iconic venue.
4. THE SIGHTLINES ARE LIKE NO OTHER STADIUM YOU'VE EXPERIENCED
One of the objectives of DAYTONA Rising was to utilize the mile-long front stretch for the best viewing experience of any stadium. ROSSETTI studied a number of different seating strategies to maximize the seat positioning. For example, the grandstands have three separate areas which are tapered to the start/finish line. By increasing the height and reducing the length of the seating area, more fans have better views of the entire track. The end result was over 18,000 seats being raised and elevated into sightline perfection.
5. DIS FEATURES A NEW MODEL FOR PREMIUM SEATING
Daytona International Speedway features a wide flexibility in viewing experiences. Whether you choose to maximize your comfort or get as close as you can to the track, the different level of amenities were designed to enhance the fan experience. ROSSETTI’s designers opted for a diversity of options, including the France suites, the Sky suites, and the Rolex 24 suites, all of which connect to a three-story atrium. Each suite has theatre-style seating and lounge areas that offer the best to every kind of fan at the big race.