On a patch of grass in Concord, North Carolina, on Wednesday, NASCAR celebrated a landmark achievement.
Company executives and regional leaders came together to celebrate the start of construction of what would one day become “one of the best production and broadcasting facilities in the country,” say the leaders.
The news is significant as it expands NASCAR’s presence in Concord, which is already home to the company’s research and development headquarters and several team offices.
“The facility itself, we couldn’t be more excited about it,” said Brian Herbst, NASCAR’s senior vice president of broadcast and production. “I think we’ve been really thoughtful in planning, not just where our production and content business is today, but where it’s going in the future.”
The 58,000-square-foot facility will house approximately 125 employees — from productions from NASCAR, MRN and NASCAR Studios — and will be designed with future expansion in mind. The new building will relocate many of these employees from Five Fifty South, Formerly called NASCAR Plazain Uptown Charlotte.
The facility is scheduled to open in 2024.
Creating a facility like this represents an investment in technology that brings fans and supporters “as close to the action as possible.” Herbst said that in a world where live production – racing, live entertainment, etc. – is at a premium, NASCAR needed the technology and space to meet that.
“If you think about how content consumption has shifted from linear TV, traditional TV, to direct-to-consumer TV — that’s a much bigger production business for us,” Herbst told reporters after the event. “As this business grew and technological improvements increased as well, we as a sport needed to be positioned for the future, in order to keep pace with these innovations and technological advances.”
NASCAR’s current media rights agreement with Fox and NBC is set to expire in 2024, and exclusive negotiations for a new deal will end It is said to start in 2023. One of the biggest unknowns about the media rights deal involves The amount of money that will be directed towards holding races/events on digital broadcasting platforms.
Referring to the impending new media rights deal, NASCAR President Steve Phelps said it was “extremely exciting to have this facility at the heart of what it would look like from a production standpoint.”
“Many of you have heard before that our sport is growing because of two principles: to be bold and to be innovative,” Phelps said. “I think this project in itself is emblematic of that, as much as it looked at things like diversity, equity, inclusion, schedule changes or sustainability – all things that are important to the growth of our sport.
“This facility will do the same.”
Setting up a shop in Concord is good for NASCAR, too. Rent is less expensive than Uptown Charlotte. The new offices are also located in the “competitive heartbeat” of the sport, next to the research and development facilities and team headquarters.
Several leaders of Caparros County and the City of Concord were in attendance on Wednesday. They all echoed the same sentiments – which they have and will continue to embrace NASCAR’s expansion in the region.
“At Concorde, there is no denying the important role that motorsports plays in our lives, in our history, and will continue to grow and succeed,” said Concorde Mayor Bill Dosh.
This story was originally published September 1, 2022 6:23 am.