ISM Raceway near Phoenix, Arizona is closing in on the completion of a $178m renovation project that is designed to transform the raceway into a state-of-the-art experience for motorsports fans.
The project will provide enhanced hospitality services and a redesign of the infield, suites and all-inclusive clubs at the venue, which hosts NASCAR and IndyCar events. Major developments include the introduction of an innovative interactive garage experience that allows fans to get closer to their heroes.
In the latest part of our Project Profile series, TheStadiumBusiness spoke to Bryan R. Sperber, president of ISM Raceway, to get the lowdown on the project.
TheStadiumBusiness: What are they key reasons behind the new development at ISM Raceway?
Bryan R. Sperber: The ISM Raceway Project Powered by DC Solar represents a modernisation project featuring a variety of enhanced amenities for fans, teams, sponsors, and other stakeholders, while creating a best-in-class facility in Phoenix that will serve as a destination for motorsports fans everywhere.
TSB: What are the main features of the project?
Sperber: Upon completion of the project, ISM Raceway will feature several ‘firsts’ in motorsports:
- First interactive garage experience placing fans face-to-face with the superstars of the sport
- Only track where drivers will have to race through the turn during the finish which will add to the excitement (start/finish line will be repositioned in Turn 2 just before the track’s well-known dog leg)
- The first motorsports venue to have Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the facility
The project will also feature new seating, a new convenient pedestrian tunnel connecting the infield to the new seating areas, new hospitality offerings, new escalators and elevators, additional restrooms and concessions as well as an expanded Midway – known as the DC Solar Power Pavilion.
TSB: What sort of an impact do you hope these improvements will have on fans?
Sperber: ISM Raceway has been a favourite destination for motorsports fans for over 50 years. Drivers have loved coming and racing here, fans love making the trip from all over to spend a race weekend here. To be able to upgrade this venue to meet that enthusiasm is a great thrill and we hope that the new updates make the raceway an even more desirable location for fans to come and visit whether it be for race weekends or non-endemic events.
TSB: Do you plan to bid for new events after the project has been completed?
Sperber: While we remain focused on delivering world-class racing, we believe this project will help to position ISM Raceway as an ideal venue for new programming and non-traditional types of events.
TSB: When is the project due for completion?
Sperber: The entire project is scheduled to be completed in time for the Fall 2018 NASCAR race weekend. That said, we debuted many of our new suites and our new hospitality experience this past November (2017) during the Can-Am 500 – which was part of the semi-finals of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Leading up to and during the 2018 NASCAR race weekend in November we will be celebrating the grand re-opening of ISM Raceway with different activations and festivities.
TSB: Are you planning any further development at the venue once complete?
Sperber: Currently, we are not planning any additional developments immediately following the project as we look forward to fully utilising our newly updated space to enhance visitors’ experiences. We want to create a venue which is modern and sleek, while also staying true to what this place has always stood for. We feel that we’ve met that challenge by blending all of the aspects of the history of ISM Raceway, with the futuristic vision needed to pull it all together.
Images: ISM Raceway