Michigan Int'l Speedway news 2009-06-12

MIS unveils new suite/media center BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 12, 2009) -- The new suite/media center at Michigan International Speedway will make the racetrack one of the largest U.S. producers of green energy in American sports, track officials ...

MIS unveils new suite/media center

BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 12, 2009) -- The new suite/media center at Michigan International Speedway will make the racetrack one of the largest U.S. producers of green energy in American sports, track officials announced today.

The solar-powered, 31-suite building and track media center will be outfitted with approximately 8,000-square-feet of solar panels across the rooftop that will capture 40 kilowatts of energy produced by the sun. Michigan International Speedway joins three other venues -- AT&T Park in San Francisco, Staples Center in Los Angeles and US Airways Arena in Phoenix -- as the country's energy leaders in major-league sports.

"We hope Michigan International Speedway's actions can help show the nation that NASCAR and their fans are some of the country's most enthusiastic conservationists and can be a powerful leader in lowering energy consumption," track President Roger Curtis said.

Solar energy saves money now and opens up our facility and our sport to non-traditional partners and unique business-to-business opportunities," track President Roger Curtis said. "It is the right thing to do and all companies today should take the necessary steps to lower their energy bills and minimize their energy footprints."

The solar panels from Uni-Solar in Auburn Hills, Mich., will generate about 70,000 kilowatts per hour -- enough energy to power 439 fluorescent light bulbs, 79 incandescent light bulbs, 175 laptop computers, 19 desktop computers and 26 refrigerators 24-hours a day.

"Michigan International Speedway is truly leading by example," said Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth Director Stanley "Skip" Pruss, who also serves as the state of Michigan's Chief Energy Officer. "Investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy represent a major opportunity for Michigan to create jobs, save money and reduce the state's reliance on fossil fuels. By recognizing this technology, Michigan International Speedway is a leader, not just in sports but in our state."

The two-story suite/media center design includes 31 corporate suites that span the second floor of the structure. The suites include movable walls so areas can expand or decrease based on corporate partners' needs, building upon MIS' philosophy to tailor custom packages to each partners' business goals.

The suites will sit atop a state-of-the-art media, technology and meeting center. Print, radio and TV journalists, including their photographer counterparts from across all news mediums, will have ample space to work and cover MIS' popular events. The west wall from the media lobby to the media lounge is a glass wall of glass that looks out onto pit road and the processional under the building, finally bringing the action of the race into the media center.

Separate rooms for large press conferences and competitor meetings will also be housed on the first floor, near a new kitchen and press dining area.

The suite and media center project was designed by Rossetti Associates. The Southfield, Mich., architecture, planning and design firm has created a host of sporting venues from Ford Field, home of the NFL's Detroit Lions and the NCAA's 2009 men's basketball Final Four, to The Palace of Auburn Hills, home of the NBA's Detroit Pistons. The company has an impressive portfolio of sporting, residential, commercial and educational projects across the country and around the world including Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. and Sungui Stadium in Incheon, Korea.

Michigan International Speedway is the first auto racing project for the company, which excited the acclaimed team of Michigan-based designers and planners. The team was challenged to balance the technology, power and excitement of NASCAR with the speedway's "NASCAR in a national park" branding.

"This was an exciting and an intriguing project," Rossetti Associate's Jim Renne, principal in charge of the project, said. "This is a unique project that truly captures the speed, power and being-on-the-edge excitement of NASCAR on the outside of the building with a true sense of leisure, hospitality and a welcome environment on the inside."

Glass, rooftop perches allow race fans to stand above the action, inspired by a NASCAR flagman in the flag stand over the field of cars. The color palette inside the building includes warm, earthy tones and natural materials such a stone and woo, inspired by a vacation lodge.

The $17 million reconstruction of the pit terrace suites and media center in the track's infield is the first phase in a multi-phase plan that could eventually see the reconfiguration of the track's infield. Curtis hopes to see the garages, medical center and infield campsites resized in other phases, and the construction of an eventual fan walk-style fan zone.

"We will continue to invest in the overall experience at MIS," Curtis said. "There are few companies today investing in their facilities in such a manner. We are exploring ways to create lasting and memorable experiences for our fans, guests, media and sponsors while they are at MIS. We are also investing in the future of auto racing at one of the revered speedways in the country -- Michigan International Speedway."

The current suite building will be bulldozed by CAT-sponsored NASCAR driver Jeff Burton on Aug. 26, following the conclusion of MIS' season. The building will be ready to go for the 2010 season at MIS.

Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It's the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike.

For tickets, camping and pit passes for all MIS events, call the speedway toll free at 800-354-1010 or log onto MISpeedway.com.

-credit: mis

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