Daytona Rising, the renovation project remodeling Daytona International Speedway, announced new hospitality offerings and continued the trend of venues offering high-end viewing and dining options to capture more fans. The new amenities include four different suite options — mezzanine, Rolex 24, Sky, and France — as well as new dining and lounge options for fans when the project is completed. This conscious push for more hospitality choices is a logical move for Daytona because it may attempt to hold non-racing events at the speedway.
NASCAR fans have an unfair country bumpkin stereotype that couldn’t be further from the truth. The fan base has affluent members just like any other sport, and also has to cater toward sponsors and partners that use events in suites as a business development tool. Go to any stadium or arena in the country and a lot of suites are owned by companies, not personal fans. These suite options will allow Daytona to appeal even more to corporate partners.
Other hospitality amenities will also appeal to all fans. They will allow greater dining and lounge options inside the raceway. The goal — as it always is in this type of refurbishment or new build — is to drive more fans to the venue. Stadium operators are consistently battling against the in-home viewing option and providing more amenities is an attempt to get fans off the couch and into the venue.
Daytona Rising is reminiscent of the construction of new Yankee Stadium. Both historic venues were loved by fans and instantly known by name. Yankee Stadium needed to upgrade its offerings to compete in the world of new venues. It did so by offering more suites, more food options, more open space and more lounges for fans. Daytona is doing much the same with the goal of providing more/better options for the people who walk through its historic gates.
Michael Colangelo is Managing Editor of The Fields of Green and Assistant Director at the USC Sports Business Institute.