WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., Dec. 17, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Speedway Corporation (Nasdaq : ISCA ) Board of Directors has approved the funding for a sweeping capital improvements project at Watkins Glen International (WGI) that includes four new grandstands, a new Crown Royal Club, and permanent showers in the infield. The estimated cost of the project will be approximately $3 million and will be the largest fan-focused improvement since the road racing facility opened in 1956.
The four new permanent grandstands will replace the four temporary structures called the Turn 10, Turn 11, Green, and Silver Grandstands that are annually built for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend and increases the grandstand capacity at the historic road course by approximately 1,400 seats. The new Crown Royal Club will offer a VIP experience and replaces the temporary club that has been used since the original Glen Club burned down in 2007. Permanent showers will be added to two existing bathrooms in the infield; each addition will feature a total of 12 showerheads. The Gate 1 camping area will receive numerous new shared water spigots and 60 additional light posts.
WGI has been undergoing a series of major capital improvements over the past nine years including the addition of Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barriers and extended run-off areas in several turns in 2010, a new media center in 2008, track repaving in 2006, a new FrontStretch grandstand in 2005, and an improved water and sewer system that included the additions of showers in the Gate 1 campground from 2001 thru 2004. This latest capital improvements brings the total amount of money invested in WGI to almost $30 million since 2001.
An economic impact study completed in 2008, determined WGI is responsible for creating almost 2,000 jobs and bringing about $200 million into New York State each year. This is largely because 70% of the visitors that come to WGI each year come from outside the four counties (Schuyler, Chemung, Steuben, and Tompkins) that surround the track. The facility is in use over 180 days a year with a mix of track rentals and major spectator events featuring the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide, and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.
SOURCE Watkins Glen International