FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Sept. 17, 1998) - Texas Motor Speedway announced plans to add 4,800 seats to its state-of-art facility. The new section will be will be located in Turn 1 as part of The Speedway Club, which was the focus of a Thursday night...
FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Sept. 17, 1998) - Texas Motor Speedway announced plans to add 4,800 seats to its state-of-art facility. The new section will be will be located in Turn 1 as part of The Speedway Club, which was the focus of a Thursday night topping-out ceremony.
"We knew that eventually we'd increase the seating capacity," said Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. "I'm sure that the club members will be as happy about the addition as we are. Members of The Speedway Club can watch the race while enjoying a fabulous lunch or dinner at the club, and then walk outside and take their seat."
The anticipated announcement highlighted a night of fine food, fun and fireworks under the Texas stars for the official topping-out ceremony of The Speedway Club at Texas Motor Speedway, co-hosted by Smith and Texas Motor Speedway general manager Eddie Gossage. Scheduled to open in March 1999, the spectacular $30 million nine-story structure will offer five-star dining, a "state-of-the-art" health club as well as 26,000-square-feet of banquet and meeting space.
Nearly 500 guests were in attendance for the topping-out ceremony and dinner. Sparky, the "Fastest Mascot in the West," planted a Texas flag on the highest point of the nine-story structure as fireworks burst overhead. "We didn't plan to build The Speedway Club for ten or fifteen years," said Smith. "But because of the overwhelming success we've enjoyed here, we'll have it open before the Primestar 500 race in March."
The five-star restaurant, which is three-tiered to offer the best views of the speedway, has a dance floor, custom wood paneling and elegant stone rotunda lobby. There is also a casual dining area to view telecasts of other sporting events.
The health club offers everything from a wide range of exercise programs to the "pampering" spa amenities: aerobics, free weights, steamrooms, sauna, massage areas, men and women's spa, shower-locker rooms, cardiocircuit area, manicure/pedicure rooms and more.
On the ninth floor is the spacious 26,000 square-foot ballroom, the largest west of DFW International Airport. The room, complete with 28 crystal chandeliers and a spectacular view, can be used for a sit down dinner for 1,000, or divided into a variety of smaller banquet and meeting rooms.
Since opening, the speedway's existing facilities have been the site for numerous corporate meetings, presentations and special events. The Speedway Club will provide additional meeting/banquet space which is already in demand.
"This is wonderful for the speedway, but it's also good for the area," said Gossage. "As our meeting/convention business continues to grow, business will also be generated for area hotels and motels and tourism-related business, not to mention more tax dollars. The Texas Motor Speedway project is responsible for generating $5.1 million in state and local taxes last year."
During the evening's activities, Indy legends and Texas residents Johnny Rutherford, A.J. Foyt and Jim McElreath joined current Pep Boys Indy Racing League driver Greg Ray, also a resident of The Lone Star State, for a special presentation on stage. The four were presented lifetime memberships to The Speedway Club.
"We'll be giving the winner of each of our Winston Cup and IRL events a membership," said Gossage. "That begins this weekend with the Lone Star 500." Membership will provide access to the club and all its privileges, including: all dining facilities; the health club; conference meeting space and event banquet rooms; special parking and seating in front of The Speedway Club for all races; discounts on Luxury Suite tickets; track tours and driving schools; exclusive rights to other speedway events and a reciprocal membership agreement with The Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway and other private clubs.