NASCAR: Speedway renovation won’t affect Daytona 500 schedule image

Daytona International Speedway’s complete overhaul of the frontstretch grandstands may impact the summer race, but the Daytona 500 date will remain in February despite construction.

Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood III unveiled an ambitious project to overhaul the stands and bring them up to the level of new stadiums commonly seen in football and baseball. However, he didn’t give details on the impact construction might have on the track’s schedule.

The speedway currently has a seating capacity of 147,000. It is not known what the capacity would be after the renovation. The project is pending approval due to funding concerns, with Chitwood requesting assistance from the state of Florida to move forward. If construction starts, Chitwood said the Daytona 500 would not be affected.

“I assume this would be a multi-year process and we would have to work around our race schedule. Obviously the Daytona 500 starts in February, and that’s not going to change. We will continue to do that,” Chitwood was quoted as saying by USA Today.

The project includes four main elements: a massive entrance called the “front door,” an increase in escalators from zero to 40, new fan amenities on the concourse such as “neighborhoods” featuring themed restaurants, bars and gathering areas and an open concourse near the start/finish line that allows fans to gaze over the speedway’s sprawling layout.