Phoenix Raceway lifts veil on huge race track redevelopment

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Artist's renderings of the modernization project at Phoenix International Raceway. (Source: PIR) Artist's renderings of the modernization project at Phoenix International Raceway. (Source: PIR)
Artist's renderings of the modernization project at Phoenix International Raceway. (Source: PIR) Artist's renderings of the modernization project at Phoenix International Raceway. (Source: PIR)
Artist's renderings of the modernization project at Phoenix International Raceway. (Source: PIR) Artist's renderings of the modernization project at Phoenix International Raceway. (Source: PIR)
Artist's renderings of the modernization project at Phoenix International Raceway. (Source: PIR) Artist's renderings of the modernization project at Phoenix International Raceway. (Source: PIR)
The redevelopment project was announced at a news conference Monday afternoon. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The redevelopment project was announced at a news conference Monday afternoon. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
AVONDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Phoenix International Raceway spelled out details of its $178 million redevelopment project at a news conference Monday afternoon.

The modernization aims to reinforce the venue as a premier motorsports destination in the West.

“We are thrilled to create a best-in-class facility in Phoenix, and we’re confident it will grow the fan base here and further serve as a destination track for motorsports fans everywhere,” said International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa Kennedy.

ISC owns and/or operates 13 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities, including PIR.

Among the highlights:

  • A completely redesigned infield featuring a first-of-its-kind Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Garage Fan Zone, placing fans face-to-face with the superstars of the sport.
  • Phoenix Raceway’s start/finish line will be repositioned in Turn 2 just before the track’s well-known dog leg.?
  • A new pedestrian tunnel connecting the infield to the new seating areas featuring in-seat Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • The installation of new/upgraded seating and hospitality areas near the current Turn 2 location.
  • A new grandstand will be built alongside upgraded seats in the existing Bobby Allison Grandstand (both featuring individual chair-back stadium seats with armrests), complete with modern amenities, such as several new escalators and elevators, additional restrooms and concessions.
  • A redesigned Midway conveniently located near the seating areas.

The overhaul was approved by the International Speedway Corporation board of directors and first announced on Nov. 30, 2016. ISC owns and/or operates 13 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities, including PIR.

“A project of this magnitude is monumental for our company as we get to work enhancing the experience of the great fans who love to watch our races in Phoenix and enjoy this beautiful area,” Kennedy said. “Having Phoenix Raceway within our prestigious stable of venues always has been a tremendous asset and source of pride for us.”

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey sent a video message praising the renovations.

“PIR’s annual economic impact is vital to AZ," Ducey said. "The local jobs and revenue generated by this construction project will be a win for race-goers and a win for this great state. By transforming our famed racetrack, we will strengthen Arizona’s position as a destination for large-scale events. Investments like this continue to underscore Arizona’s great business climate and prove that our state is open for business. ”

 DC Solar, entitlement partner of Phoenix Raceway’s spring NASCAR XFINITY Series race, the DC Solar 200, will serve as the title sponsor for the modernization project (Phoenix Raceway Project Powered by DC Solar) as well as a multi-year sponsor of the redesigned Midway.

“When our project is completed, we will have a venue that delivers amazing fan experiences to go along with our reputation for great racing action,” said Phoenix Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber. “By shifting the start/finish line to Phoenix Raceway’s famed dog leg, fans will be perfectly positioned to watch one of the most exciting turns in motorsports. We are confident The Phoenix Raceway Project powered by DC Solar will put racing in Arizona in a whole new and exciting light.”

The repositioned start/finish line will enhance the competition near one of the most challenging areas of the track while adding to the excitement during key race moments such as restarts and the closing laps.

“It’s great to see Phoenix Raceway make such a big investment to improve the experience for the fans,” said Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. “I’m from the West Coast and Phoenix is one of those places that always feels like home to me. Moving the start/finish line is a big change for all the racers that have been used to racing at Phoenix in the past; I’m looking forward to seeing how those changes might affect the racing and how the end of the races play out.”

The work is expected to be completed in late 2018.

PIR was founded in 1964. Phoenix is the only track in the West to feature two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekends a year, beginning with the Camping World 500 race weekend in March 17 and 18. 

The schedule is anchored by the Can-Am 500 race weekend on Nov. 11 through 13, the semifinal race in the “Chase for the NASCAR Cup.” 

Copyight 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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