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$178M Makeover for Phx Intl. Raceway

Courtesy of ISC

By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale will get a $178M overhaul. Parent company International Speedway Corp. announced approval of the effort on Nov. 30.

The renovation is part of ISC’s FY 2017-2021 capital allocation plan announced in Q3. The company will reinvest a total of $500M across its 13 existing raceways.

According to a statement from ISC, the PIR project is expected to start in early 2017 and be complete in late 2018.  Specifics concerning the PIR redevelopment project scope, capital investment and returns will be released as details are finalized. Information is expected in the company’s Q4 fiscal 2016 earnings call next month.

Known elements of the plan include new and upgraded grandstands, new concourses, expanded hospitality features, added structures for competitors and sponsors in the infield, additional RV parking and new steel and metal exteriors. The renovation is self-funded, with ISC seeking no taxpayer assistance for the project. In its first full year after reopening, ISC projects the improvements will generate between $8.5-$9M in gross profits.

“Phoenix Raceway provides a one-of-a-kind setting for some of the most exciting and thrilling races that the sport has to offer,” said ISC Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy. “This project will further enhance that experience and ensure that the venue continues to be a treasured destination for race fans.”

“We are energized about the changes that we are bringing to Phoenix Raceway and we think the fans will be too,” said Phoenix Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber. “The race track itself will remain unchanged as one of the most exciting circuits in motorsports, but we will modernize much of the venue and provide our fans with a high-quality, leading-edge experience.”

Changes to PIR over its 52-year history have included replacing the grandstand after a 1987 fire and a $10M reconfiguration of the track into a 1-mile oval in 2011. Following voter approval in 2012, the City of Avondale spent $7.2M to start creating a sports and entertainment district at PIR and to connect it to the city’s water and sewer system.

International Speedway Corp. is the owner/developer. Sports- and entertainment-focused design and planning firm ROSSETTI is the architect. Okland Construction will serve as general contractor.

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