Dover International Speedway reducing seating to 85,000

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Dover International Speedway is in the process of removing the grandstands in Turn 3 of the 1-mile track, reducing its seating capacity to 85,000, according to the Delaware State News.

The move is the “final phase” in a planned round of seating reductions by the track that began a few years ago to begin “right-sizing” the track.

“A couple of years ago we made the decision to remove some of the grandstands and we decided to leave the part of it in turn three with the mezzanine and the upper level seats because we hadn’t yet come to the conclusion about what we wanted to do there,” track president Michael Tatoian told the Delaware State News.

The reduction to 85,000 seats had been reported previously, but the track had hoped to come up with a way to use what was still standing.

Tatoian said over the summer the track – which hosts two NASCAR race weekends – determined it could not “create or develop or justify” keeping the Turn 3 seating standing. The track had tried to conceive of a way to “repurpose” the area for hospitality.

“A facility of 85,000 — that’s the right size of the current landscape,” Tatoian told the Delaware State News. “That’s just what’s taking place in the world of sports these days. Facilities are being built to be more intimate experiences for fans.”

Dover’s 2015 annual report (for 2014 fiscal year) stated the track seating capacity was 96,000 after a round of seat reductions in 2014. The 2014 annual report (2013 fiscal year) had seating capacity at around 113,000. The 2012 annual report (2011 fiscal year) reported the capacity at approximately 132,000.

Click here to see the full report by the Delaware State News.