MIS making more fan improvements for 2011 season

MIS investing more into facility for 2011

In its continuing commitment to improve the guest experience at the racetrack, a number of construction projects will take place at Michigan International Speedway this winter in anticipation of the 43rd season of racing at the venerable two-mile oval.

Besides the redesign of the track’s scoreboard which was announced two weeks ago, the biggest wintertime project will see three of the silver, general admission grandstands taken down, near the Turn 3 area. This will decrease the track’s capacity by 12,000 seats and have a positive impact on guests. Provisions to re-seat guests who were in those grandstands in 2010 are being made.

The track is exploring options for the area, including the potential for trackside camping and hospitality.

Replacing the older silver seats with more comfortable, fan-friendly seats has been a priority for MIS. The track has been replacing stands and widening seats over the past four years, a move Curtis hopes to complete in the near future with steel and seats that were acquired from the former Pikes Peak International Raceway several years ago.

“These aren’t sexy, splashy projects, but they are completely necessary in making our guests’ time here more comfortable and better,” track President Roger Curtis said. “We are getting our facility back to where it should be capacity-wise. In 2011, we’ll be at nearly 108,000 grandstand seats, so this reduced capacity will have a domino-effect that will help us with our traffic efforts, with wait times at the gates, concession stands and restrooms, and the overall experience here.”

Other new projects include additional parking for handicapped guests, as well as paving a new tram route from the speedway’s Lot 10 to the frontstretch area of the New Holland Fan Plaza. A tram drop-off point to service the Fan Plaza will be next to the Chalet Village hospitality area near the tunnel entrance to the track.

“The cleanliness, promptness and friendliness of all the tram staff made the tram ride part of the fun,” race fan Marji McIntosh of Perrysburg, N.Y. said following the June 2010 race weekend. “Every person we encountered had nice things to say. We absolutely loved the trams and hospitality and enjoyed visiting MIS for the first time this year.”

“About 60 percent of our fans use the trams, so while paving a lot or creating a new tram route on the surface doesn’t seem very cool, it is necessary and most importantly, our guests have asked for it,” Curtis added. “It’s funny how an improvement like a tram route can make a major impact on a lot of people.”

Finally, the track will receive a second network TV broadcast booth to accommodate its national television broadcast partners. In June, there will be three networks on site to broadcast the speedway’s events — SPEED, ESPN and TNT.

In all, about $3 million will be spent on upgrades and changes at the track this off-season.

MIS has spent about $55 million over the past four years improving the facility, allowing fans, media and corporate partners to get the most out of a race weekend at MIS. With a new suite/media center building, wider seats, larger gates, bigger grandstands, signage and camping, guests who haven’t been to MIS in a while may not recognize the track.

The track has also lowered its ticket prices and offered flexible payment plans to accommodate race fans’ budgets by introducing a tiered ticket pricing strategy with NASCAR Sprint Cup tickets that start as low as $20 and kids 12 and under free.

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. Fan Appreciation is a year-round initiative at Michigan International Speedway.

The best, guaranteed lowest prices in 2011 will go to renewal customers and new customers who make a $30 goodwill deposit. New customers can log onto www.MISpeedway.com or call 800-354-1010 to leave a deposit through Jan. 31. That deposit ensures race fans get the best pricing, including $20 Sprint Cup tickets, for 2011.

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