With Richmond International Raceway's Commonwealth Grandstand approximately 75% complete, local media members received a sneak preview today of the ongoing construction project that will add nearly 5,000 seats for the 2007 season. The tour included a visit to the highest level of the new grandstand, the Commonwealth Tower, which provides an incredible birds-eye view of the track and a breathtaking, panoramic view of downtown Richmond and the surrounding counties.
The Commonwealth Grandstand, which is on schedule to be completed in time for the May 4-5 NASCAR doubleheader at Richmond International Raceway, will feature three new levels: the Lower Mezzanine, the 700-person TORQUE club and the Commonwealth Tower.
"We are so excited about this incredible project that will provide excellent views from what we feel is the best motorsports venue anywhere," said track president Doug Fritz. "Richmond International Raceway has always been known as a fan-friendly track, and with the addition of these seats with amazing sightlines, we will further anchor our position as America's Premier Short Track."
Over the past 45 days, construction crews have installed all of the seats in the Commonwealth Tower and Lower Mezzanine levels and extensive progress has been made in TORQUE, including the installation of electrical, plumbing and HVAC equipment. The project team will begin to hang dry wall in TORQUE by February 5 and begin interior work by March 1.
The 180-foot grandstand is the tallest structure in Henrico County and is approximately two feet higher than the tower at Richmond International Airport. Towns and landmarks more than 30 miles away are visible from the top of the grandstand.
Once completed, the new capacity of Richmond International Raceway will rise from 107,097 to 112,029. Included in the project will be 7,843 seats in the new Commonwealth Grandstand and the removal of 2,911 seats in turns three and four.
Although seats in the new Commonwealth Grandstand are already sold out, there is good news for fans who have been on the waiting list for Richmond International Raceway tickets. Because existing season ticket holders upgraded to the now sold-out Commonwealth Grandstand, other seats have been vacated, which means many fans on the waiting list will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to see the non-stop excitement at America's Premier Short Track. Those fans who are already on the waiting list can expect notification of how to purchase tickets by next week. Fans who missed the waiting list deadline can still register for future events by calling 1-866-455-7223 or logging on to www.rir.com.
The Commonwealth Grandstand will open in time for the Circuit City 250 Presented by FUNAI NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday, May 4. The NASCAR doubleheader weekend will continue with the Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Saturday, May 5. Tickets are on sale now for Friday night's events, which includes practice and Wawa Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Races on both of those dates, like all events at Richmond International Raceway, will run "under the lights." Please call 1-866-455-7223 or visit www.rir.com for tickets.