Updated:DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. —
The Daytona International Speedway could be getting a major makeover.
Officials are working on several changes for the speedway, including rebuilding part of the grandstand.
The Daytona International Speedway sits on 480 acres. The site,
which was once a swampland, is now a landmark, with events being held at the speedway 250 days out of the year. "If it has wheels on it and it goes fast, we're going to run it," said Joie Chitwood III, president of the Daytona International Speedway.
Chitwood says a new master plan is the first step to changing the speedway. Officials hope to add stores, restaurants, entertainment and maybe even some gambling.
"It's a fantastic property, but as we continue to be the world's center of racing, we want to make sure over the next 50 years we make all the right investments to continue that mantra," Chitwood explained.
The most notable change could be made to the grandstands. They are the iconic front stretch of stands near the finish line with 101,000 seats. Some of those seats have been there since 1959.
"I'm not sure if a seat that was installed in '59, you're going to have in 50 years. So we've got to come up with a plan that will provide all the amenities that fans expect," Chitwood said.
"If they added some stands, possibly with some overhangs with some shade where you're not just sitting out in the sun for three or four hours," said race fan Andrew Isreal.
Chitwood says nothing is out of the
question; it's just a matter of when it will happen. Speedway officials say they put money aside for capital improvement projects each year.
Officials would not release any exact dates for construction,
and it could take up to eight m onths for Daytona Beach to approve the plans.