At Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, a division of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., track operators have remodeled multiple locations in the past 24 months with more construction planned in upcoming years. This reinvestment is driven in part by the track’s need to attract premium buyers beyond those partners who are native to motorsports.
Busch Restart Bar
Similar to portions of the extensive renovations recently completed at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, Texas Motor Speedway also continues to redefine its seating inventory as social destinations in strategic locations.
The Busch Restart Bar, located 26 rows from the track between turn 4 and the start-finish line, sits above the restart zone, an area of high action where the field accelerates into a green flag after a caution. This premium destination, which came online in 2018, is congruent with the universal industry trend of replacing fixed seating with open viewing decks that appeal to race fans averse to sitting for three hours.
“We thought about ways to redefine the experience that our fan base is quite frankly gravitating towards,” says Jason Wonderly, VP of Sales at Texas Motor Speedway. “We created an atmosphere that’s an epicenter of a really good time.”
The Busch Restart Bar is inclusive of food and beverage throughout its indoor-outdoor space. The visceral, multi-sensory experience unique to NASCAR is accessible in an outdoor environment of bar seating and 4Topps tables, as well as space to mix and mingle.
Guests can also escape the noise in a climate-controlled, indoor area conducive to conversations behind the closed doors. Busch Restart Bar seat holders also have access to chair-back seating in an upgraded section above the bar.
Suite Level Remodel
In addition to its club space and shared hospitality improvements, Texas Motor Speedway has also reengineered its traditional suite product more attractive to DFW businesses.
For partners endemic to the sport, such as Anheuser Busch or Shell Pennzoil, 32-person and 64-person suites still meet those partners’ needs. But in order to align with demand from many other companies in the local market, TMS has reduced some of its larger suites into 20-person units while right-sizing pricing levels consistent with other DFW venues.
“That’s what people in Dallas and Fort Worth are quite frankly used to investing in,” says Wonderly.
Texas Motor Speedway started by modernizing five units in late 2018 and have already sold-out those offerings. These suites underwent full FF&E makeovers, highlighted by replacing traditional seating with DreamSeats installations.
“We wanted to test and learn,” Wonderly says. “Now we know there’s demand, and it gives our salespeople confidence.”
Speedway Club Deck
The next round of renovations to come at Texas Motor Speedway involves the existing Speedway Club in turn 1. Akin to the Busch Restart Bar, this upcoming project, which remains in early stages, will reposition fixed seating into a social viewing deck.
“Now we know there’s demand, and it gives our salespeople confidence.”
– Jason Wonderly, Texas Motor Speedway
Designs for the Speedway Club deck currently propose exclusive environments within the deck with a restaurant experience behind it. This upgrade elevates prerace premium hospitality beyond the white tent chalets companies have previously experienced at TMS.
Once the race begins, grandstand seating will be available directly below the deck for fans to enjoy the gritty elements of stock car racing at the 1.5-mile, quad-oval track, banked 20 degrees in turns 1 and 2.
“There are a lot of accidents, a lot of passing over in turn 1 and coming into turn 2,” Wonderly says. “So that’s a place to use as a hospitality venue and a turnkey experience.”
And not just on race days. TMS hosts over 900 events each year across its 1,500 acres. These events include corporate meetings, product demonstrations by the likes of Chevrolet, Red Bull air races, outdoor expo events, concerts, and festivals.
“When you think about the Speedway Club deck serving as an extension to the Speedway Club itself, which includes a restaurant, a ballroom that can accommodate up to 1,400 people, and meeting rooms throughout,” says Wonderly, “this platform can serve as a nice extension to drive additional consideration and value for folks that are looking to leverage this property from a special events standpoint.”