NASCAR, City of Charlotte, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority Break Ground NASCAR Legends Bring Excitement to the Event CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 25, 2007) -- The NASCAR Hall of Fame took one step closer to opening its doors to the public as ...
NASCAR, City of Charlotte, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority Break Ground
NASCAR Legends Bring Excitement to the Event
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 25, 2007) -- The NASCAR Hall of Fame took one step closer to opening its doors to the public as fans, VIPs and racing legends from NASCAR's past and present gathered on the Hall's site today to officially break ground and begin construction of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory and NASCAR President Mike Helton headlined the celebratory event that also included NASCAR legends from the last fifty plus years of racing such as Buddy Baker, Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Raymond Parks, Richard Petty, Rex White and many others.
"Today was a special day," NASCAR President Mike Helton said. "We set out several years ago with a goal to create a NASCAR Hall of Fame to preserve and honor our past as well as give a glimpse into the future. Today, we took a very important step forward in making that goal become a reality."
The 100,000 square-foot NASCAR Hall of Fame, which will be located on a five-acre site in Charlotte's Center City, will be a special place that brings NASCAR's rich history to life. Scheduled to open in the spring of 2010, the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be designed by Pei, Cobb & Freed, a firm known for its expertise with public buildings including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the expansion of The Louvre in Paris and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
As shovels were put into the ground, engines roared from historic stock cars driven by seven-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champions Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt Sr.. Fans cheered loudly for the 30-plus NASCAR legends in attendance while Rick Hendrick joined the groundbreaking team not only as a championship car owner in all three of NASCAR's top touring series, but as the Honorary Grand Marshal of the bid to bring the NASCAR Hall of Fame to the Charlotte region.
"We wanted to be sure we accomplished a couple of things with this groundbreaking: first, that it was like no other, just as unique as the future NASCAR Hall of Fame will be and second, that the history of NASCAR was front and center," said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "We believe our unique format modeled after a NASCAR pre-race ceremony and having more than 30 competitors and members of the NASCAR community representing all decades and touring divisions of NASCAR racing certainly achieved those goals. We are particularly grateful for the tremendous support from both the NASCAR and greater Charlotte communities."
The Hall of Fame, which is expected to total approximately $155 million and be financed by a hotel occupancy tax, will give NASCAR fans the ultimate destination spot to learn about or relive NASCAR's history. Ralph Appelbaum and Associates (RAA), which has design experience that includes the National Constitution Center and the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, will design the Hall's exhibits. BE&K Building Group is the construction management firm, with Turner Thompson Davis chosen as the construction contractor.
With the estimated completion date being the first quarter of 2010, this state-of-the-art facility will honor NASCAR icons and create an enduring tribute to the drivers, crew members, team owners and others who have impacted the sport in the past, present and yet-to-come. The NASCAR Hall of Fame, which will be owned by the City of Charlotte and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, will include approximately 40,000 square-feet of the most interactive and historical NASCAR exhibit space in the world.