MIS announces $17 million infield project
Michigan International Speedway officials announced the first phase of a broad master plan that includes a significant redesign of the speedway’s infield.
Phase One of the plan, approved by the speedway’s parent company, International Speedway Corporation, includes a more than $17 million reconstruction of the current terrace suites and media center in the track’s infield.
Demolition and construction will begin immediately following the track’s August NASCAR weekend and will be ready for the 2010 season at the track.
The two-story design calls for 30 corporate suites that span the second floor of the structure. A number of the suites will include movable walls so areas can expand or decrease based on partners’ needs, building upon MIS’ philosophy to tailor custom packages to each partners’ business goals.
The structure’s first floor is a state-of-the-art media, technology and meeting center. Print, radio and TV journalists, including their photographer counterparts from across all news mediums, will have ample space to work and cover MIS’ popular events. Separate rooms for large press conferences and competitor meetings will also be housed on the first floor, near a new kitchen and press dining area.
“We continue to invest in the overall experience at MIS,” speedway President Roger Curtis said. “There are few companies today investing in their facilities in such a manner. We are exploring ways to create lasting and memorable experiences for our fans, guests, media and sponsors while they are at MIS. We are also investing in the future of auto racing at one of the revered speedways in the country – Michigan International Speedway.”
The suite and media center project was designed by Rossetti Associates. The Southfield, Mich., architecture, planning and design firm has created a host of sporting venues from Ford Field, home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions and the NCAA’s 2009 men’s basketball Final Four, to The Palace of Auburn Hills, home of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. The company has an impressive portfolio of sporting, residential, commercial and educational projects across the country and around the world including Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. and Sungui Stadium in Incheon, Korea.
Michigan International Speedway is the first auto racing project for the company, which excited the acclaimed team of Michigan-based designers and planners.
“When you think about sporting events, the focus of the project is typically toward the event itself or the playing field,” Rossetti Associate’s Jim Renne, principal in charge of the project, said. “For motorsports, however, the focus is all around you — it’s the pits, it’s the backstretch, it’s the garage, it’s the frontstretch.
“It’s the 360-degree experience that made this project exciting and unique.”
The scope of Phase One of the project includes modifying pit road and the current fire lane. The speedway’s fueling station in the garage will also be moved.
The project is the largest at MIS since the construction of the suite tower in 2005. In that venture, the speedway’s motorsports fan display area was also expanded and paved.
Phase One of the master plan redesign of the infield is just one piece of an ongoing transformation at MIS. In all, MIS will have spent more than $55 million since 2005 on various capital improvement projects from enhanced seating to a new scoreboard and public address system, to better campsites and directional signage — all with the fan in mind.
The speedway also launched a new logo in 2008 to embrace the “NASCAR in a national park” branding the fans have come to love and embody at MIS.
Future hopes for the speedway include an eventual Phase Two of an infield renovation to create a fan walk-style entertainment area with fan-accessible garages, along with reconfigured and enhanced infield campsites.
“We will continue to do our part to make sure the fans are a part of every decision we make,” Curtis said. “Race fans are as passionate about their favorite venue as they are about their drivers. We talk to them directly and regularly because we care about what they have to say, and it’s our mission to make sure they know how important their input is to our business.”
Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It’s the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike.
For tickets, camping and pit passes for all MIS events, call the speedway toll free at 800-354-1010 or log onto MISpeedway.com.