NASCAR Racing and Great Weather Draw Record Bristol Crowd
31 March 1998NASCAR Racing and Great Weather Draw Record Bristol Crowd
CONCORD, N.C., March 31 -- Blue sky and warm spring weather provided the perfect backdrop for an outstanding race weekend at Speedway Motorsports' Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway March 27, 28 and 29. A record breaking quarter of a million fans passed through the Bristol gates to watch First American Pole Day, the Moore's Snacks 250 NASCAR Busch Series and the Food City 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series races. "The demand for tickets at Bristol is among the highest in professional sport," stated Bruton Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports. "Tickets to Bristol not only offer purchasers terrific racing action but also bragging rights. I've seen fans with bumper stickers stating, `I've got tickets to Bristol,'" continued Smith. Speedway Motorsports purchased Bristol Motor Speedway in January 1996, for approximately $27 million. At that time Bristol, a half-mile, highly banked, concrete speedway, had 71,000 seats and hosted two NASCAR Winston Cup Series and two NASCAR Busch Series events. Today the facility boasts 133,000 seats, including 92 luxury suites, representing an increased capacity of approximately 62,000 seats. Its schedule has also grown to include a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event and a holiday Fantasy in Lights display. Speedway Motorsports invested heavily to improve the grounds, parking areas, traffic flow and fan amenities. "We literally moved a mountain to create additional amenities for the Bristol fans -- the greatest fans around," explained Smith. "When we were designing the new grandstands, we realized that as the stands kept growing higher, the fans may have difficulties ascending and descending 60 rows to use the facilities. In order to accommodate these concerns, we developed a mezzanine level concourse, located halfway down the grandstand, that provides our fans with concessions, souvenirs and rest rooms without having to completely descend the structure. This design proved to be so popular that we used it in our Diamond Tower Terrace expansion at Charlotte Motor Speedway." "Bristol has been an excellent investment for Speedway Motorsports," continued Smith. "We've increased the seating by almost 100% and made Bristol one of the premier speedways in the United States. This acquisition has generated an excellent return for our stockholders." Speedway Motorsports, the owner and operator of Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Sears Point Raceway, Texas Motor Speedways and 600 Racing, Inc., is a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. SOURCE Speedway Motorsports, Inc.