Two days after Josef Newgarden won IndyCar’s Phoenix Grand Prix at ISM Raceway, demolition began on the media center.
The demolition is part of a $178 million renovation project that began in February 2018 and is scheduled to be completed before the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns this November.
While the track was repaved and underwent a slight reconfiguration before the fall 2011 race, the media center has not been replaced in 31 years.
The media center did not go willingly. In a video posted on twitter by the track, the third panel of glass withstood half a dozen whacks from the wrecking ball without breaking – proving that it is one tough old building. Then again, anyone who has ever worked out of that concrete bunker knew that already.
The new media center will be four times as large as the old center – nearly 24,000 square feet – and will feature more than 200 work stations for reporters, photographers, and public relations representatives. It will have five interview rooms, a conference room, 11 garage offices, and a 4,000-square-foot space with large windows for the driver’s meeting. Fans will be able to look in as the drivers meeting takes place.