Darlington Raceway announced Wednesday that the track will receive a significant investment for a capital improvement project, slated to begin immediately.
“Darlington Raceway and its parent company, International Speedway Corporation, are committed to providing a best in class guest experience for our fans when they attend our NASCAR events,” said Kerry Tharp, Darlington Raceway President. “This investment in our facility further achieves that goal and solidifies our place as the Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR.”
The project, coined A Better Darlington…The Tradition Continues, will feature a renovation of the track’s Tyler, Wallace and Colvin Grandstands, giving fans a more comfortable seating experience when they attend the Sept. 1-2 NASCAR race weekend. In 2018, the focus of Darlington’s throwback platform will be a celebration of the Seven Decades of NASCAR, in tribute to the 70th anniversary of the sport.
The pitch of the Tyler Tower Grandstands on the frontstretch will be improved, providing better sightlines and viewing experience for the fans. Stadium-style chair back seats with cup holders will replace the current metal seats in Tyler, providing a wider and more comfortable seating experience.
The metal seats in the Wallace Grandstands on the frontstretch will be replaced with bench style seats with backs, providing fans with a wider and more comfortable seating experience, as well.
The historic Colvin Grandstands will also receive a makeover, with wider, more comfortable bench seating, along with refurbished concession areas and restroom facilities.
All grandstands at Darlington Raceway will now be considered smoke-free. Designated smoking areas will be available throughout the concourses for guests.
Additionally, multiple cross-over gates will be installed along the frontstretch, providing fans with quicker and more efficient access to Bojangles’ Southern 500 pre-race activities.
The project will also feature a one-of-a-kind Wall of Honor, unique to any other NASCAR track. This iconic banner signage will adorn the bottom of the Wallace and Colvin grandstands and will pay tribute to the former race champions at the Lady in Black.
”Darlington Raceway is appreciative of the support Governor Henry McMaster, the state of South Carolina, its political leadership, and the city and county provide our venue,” said Tharp. “We are proud to be South Carolina’s home track and we’re confident that this capital improvement project will elevate our ability to host a premier sporting event that will benefit our state and our region for many years to come.”
With all its success hosting NASCAR and other community events, Darlington Raceway is contributing $64.6 million in economic impact to the state of South Carolina, according to an updated 2017 study conducted by Dr. Tom H. Regan of the University of South Carolina’s Department of Sport and Entertainment Management.
That total includes $58.5 million in direct and indirect impact annually for the Pee Dee region, where the track calls home. Additionally, Darlington Raceway and all of its related business activity generates $8.29 million in taxes and other public revenues each year for the federal, state, and local governments and $7.43 million for the Pee Dee Region.
“Darlington Raceway is one of South Carolina’s premier historical landmarks that has attracted millions of people over the last seven decades,” said South Carolina House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Darlington). “This capital improvement project is much deserved and will spur economic growth in Darlington County and the Pee Dee. I am confident that once renovations are complete, Darlington Raceway will be considered the most exceptional sporting event venue that is far ‘Too Tough to Tame.’”
“I have worked for many years in support of a strong pro-business philosophy on behalf of Darlington County and her citizens,” said South Carolina Senator Gerald Malloy, who represents the state’s 29thDistrict. “Today’s capital investment announcement by Darlington Raceway reflects the trust of International Speedway Corporation in the pro-business environment we have all worked so hard to achieve.
“For more than 65 years, Darlington Raceway has been a staple of our business and tourism community and I am proud to work alongside them in ensuring stable pro-business regulatory and tax policy at the state and local level to enhance continued growth and investment in South Carolina,” Malloy said.
Ticket renewals for the 2018 season will be mailed on February 1. The changes to seat locations in the Tyler, Wallace and Colvin Grandstands will be minimal and should only enhance the viewing experience. A representative from the Darlington Raceway ticket office will contact fans in the near future to discuss renewal and seating options for fans in those specific grandstands.