9/10 ths of a mile:
Length of Daytona stadium
Height of the top row
LOOK HOW FAR DAYTONA HAS COME
Born on the sand of Daytona Beach, Bill France Sr.'s grand vision for Daytona International Speedway took concrete form with the opening of the 2.5-mile tri-oval racetrack in 1959. Now, 57 years later, that vision has taken a steep rise—more pronounced than the 31-degree banking of the racetrack—with the opening of the $400 million Daytona Rising project, a three-year construction venture that has transformed America's most iconic racetrack into the world's first motor sports stadium. With multiple concourses and four main seating levels, 101,500 brand-new grandstand seats, expanded amenities and even Wi-Fi, Daytona is ready to host NASCAR's crown jewel: the Daytona 500 on Feb. 22.
escalators in the stadium
elevators in the stadium
Wi-Fi access points installed
New HD displays
miles of fiber-optic cables
To break up the nearly milelong expanse, Rossetti Architects designed five "injectors," or main entrances, each with its own title sponsor, creating a unique environment, with multiactivity spaces inside each concourse.
The 15-inch-wide seats from the 1950s have been replaced with 20- and 21-inch seats—101,500 in all. A steeper rake improves sight lines, while new suites and loges offer premium spectating options.
The fan experience now includes free Wi-Fi in the midway, on the concourses, in the suites and even in parts of the infield. A new Daytona app features wayfinding. And two new 40-by-80-foot video boards project the race action.
Forty soaring escalators replace old stairs. The number of concession stands has tripled, and in a welcome move in a sport that runs on beer as much as gasoline, Daytona doubled the number of restrooms to 1,891.
The Road Ahead
Daytona is the flagship of the International Speedway Corporation—owner of 13 U.S. racetracks—so look for a coming wave of stadiumlike amenities across NASCAR Nation. Already the framework is in place to add Wi-Fi at every ISC venue. But that's all in the near future. In a sport in which the action goes by just once every 45 seconds at close to 200 mph, information access is everything. Looking further down the track, Daytona should continue to rev up the technology capability to provide fans with multiple video and audio feeds for every personal device in every seat or suite, with hundreds of cameras to choose from and even to control remotely. (How fast can a drone fly?) Finally, how about helmetlike 3-D headsets that put you virtually there in the car with your favorite driver?
Width of new seats (old seats were 15")
SI.COM / Visit SI.com/racing for more about Daytona Rising and the 2016 Sprint Cup season.
VISION SPORT/PANORAMIC/ICON SPORTSWIRE (NEW GRANDSTANDS)
R. GATES/GETTY IMAGES (HISTORIC RACE)
BRIAN CLEARY/GETTY IMAGES (STADIUM, VIEWING)
COURTESY OF DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY (DATA, AMENITIES)