SMI Progresses with First Phase of Kentucky Speedway Enhancements
Speedway Motorsports, Inc., continues to progress through an opening wave of approximately $13.5 million in Kentucky Speedway facility enhancements which will expand parking, establish infield camping, augment track access roads and enhance the overall guest experience with new entrance areas along with a new restroom/ bathhouse facility.
"Kentucky Speedway is great and we're making a lot of improvements for the fans. One area in which we'll see growth is infield camping. You'll also see better parking and access roads. The fans want it and we have to give the fans what they want. That's part of our motto," Speedway Motorsports, Inc., Chairman Bruton Smith said.
Kentucky race fans will get their first glimpse of the enhancements May 9 when the speedway opens its four-weekend, six-race season with the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Drive Smart. Buckle-Up! Kentucky 150" featuring ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" cast member and country music artist Chuck Wicks in concert.
SMI Project Manager Steve Swift said renovations are scheduled to be complete by the speedway's June 13 NASCAR Nationwide Series "Meijer 300 Presented by Ritz."
"In Phase I, we're focusing on fan accessibility and the primary parking lot. There were a lot of hills and slopes that were generally not fan friendly.
"We've been blasting non-stop and we'll have the highest parking elevation down roughly 30 feet when we're done. We've been moving dislodged limestone and shale into valleys. Eventually, the parking lot will gently roll up a hill to make the area more efficient and fan friendly.
"We pride ourselves on accommodating the fans, so we're getting the area to the point that no matter where they are at the facility, fans will have a panoramic view that gives them better perspective about where they're going and the distance between points.
"Mr. Smith is enjoying this project and he's set the goal of presenting Kentucky fans with the 'wow factor' we deliver at Atlanta, Bristol, Lowe's Motor Speedway (Charlotte , N.C.), Las Vegas, Texas and our other facilities," Swift said.
Phase I highlights follow:
Parking • The creation of level, expanded parking areas which will accommodate as many as 14,000 vehicles. The process will displace approximately 900,000 cubic yards of rock and 1.5 million cubic yards of earth.
Exterior Enhancements • New ticket canopies housing 34 total entrance gates. • Creation of new outer loop roads. • Construction of a restroom/bathhouse facility near the main entrance. • Creation of a boulevard entrance way to the grandstand. • New ticket buildings, entrance gates and fencing.
Interior Enhancements • Establishment of two infield camping areas made up of more than 200 sites. • An inner loop road to help transport fans throughout the grounds.
Future plans for the facility include the expansion of the existing concourse-level grandstands into Turns 1 and 4 and adding features such as folding seats and drink trays. Plans also include the construction of new restrooms and concession buildings; the expansion of camping options as well as the renovation of the existing infield layout.
Tickets, new infield camping and special offers for all 2009 Kentucky Speedway events can be reserved online at http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com, by phone at 888-652-RACE (7223), or by visiting Meijer stores and the speedway ticket offices at 400 Buttermilk Pike, Suite 100, near the Montgomery Inn Restaurant in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., or in the Sparta, Ky., Fan Center located off of Interstate 71 Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35 N.
Kentucky Speedway is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Speedway Motorsports which, through its subsidiary companies, is a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. For more information, visit www.speedwaymotorsports.com.
Story by Mike Schmaltz
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