“What better way to enjoy a race than an indoor/outdoor experience with dozens of your friends on the Mike’s Hard Lemonade Turn 1 Terrace?!” The Texas Motor Speedway broadcasts on Instagram. “The deck is open for fun and games … your seat sits just below … food/drink are inside AND outside … and you get a view no other section has! Now’s the time to nab your spot!”
This pronouncement is exactly what Speedway Motorsports was looking to make when it approached Perkins Eastman with a request to make better use of its seating and amenities at a racetrack that was originally built in the 1990s. In a bid to attract new fans and retain old ones, the client wanted to reduce some of its seating capacity under The Speedway Club and instead offer an open, branded hospitality terrace with exclusive seating below it reserved for those ticket holders.
The project involved reducing grandstand seats as a way of differentiating this new hospitality area as a distinct and exclusive premium-ticket experience. The newly expansive viewing deck now includes sectional sofas, open-air bars with TV monitors, dining tables, and catered food-and-beverage services. Ticket holders also have access to indoor hospitality space in The Speedway Club, while a newly open gateway between the terrace and grandstands offers prominent space for sponsor advertising.
In a post-Covid age where fans aren’t returning to watch sports in the same numbers as before, this project illustrates how venues are pivoting to enhance the in-person viewing experience to maintain revenue while reducing capacity at the same time. Where the previous seating bowl extended all the way around the track, our new approach creates a clear separation for its sponsors and VIP fans.