NASCAR Opens Up $53 Million Worth Production Facility Next to Its R&D Center, Accessible to Teams as Well
In August 2022, NASCAR announced a project involving a brand-new state-of-the-art productions facility. The construction of the project started last summer. Now, the governing body recently unveiled the 58,000-square-foot facility. Most notably, it is built on the land adjacent to the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina.
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In its bid to add facilities north of Charlotte, the sanctioning body continues to expand its footprint outside the Queen City. With this new facility expected to be fully operational by early January, good times are ahead for those involved in the sport.
NASCAR invests $53 million as it unveils the 58,000-square-foot production facility in North Carolina
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After over a year of announcing the project, NASCAR can finally boast this state-of-the-art facility. As reported by Fox Sports journalist Bob Pockrass, the entire project demanded a $53 million investment. As per him, the facility possesses three studios, eight control rooms, and four announcer booths.
While this will help in doing live event production, it is interesting to see what more will the facility offer. Furthermore, it is also open to teams and drivers. As NASCAR declared last year, the new facility is bound to house approximately 125 NASCAR Productions and MRN employees.
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NASCAR unveiled a 58,000-square-foot production facility today next to R&D center. $53 million investment. Incl 3 studios, 8 control rooms, 4 announcer booths. Can do live event production (will be doing Xfinity Series in 2025). Teams/drivers will be allowed to use facility too.
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) December 6, 2023
It is worth noting that the production facility is just a nine-minute drive from Charlotte Motor Speedway. While it is a massive setup, it should certainly help make the sport get more creative. Brian Herbst, SVP, of Media and Productions explained how this facility would help their cause.
As reported by nascar.com in August of last year, Herbst said, “The scope and scale of the NASCAR Productions business has fundamentally changed in recent years, with NASCAR’s live event production operation more than doubling since 2018. Developing a state-of-the-art facility that can accommodate our continued expansion was paramount.”
With NASCAR opening its new 58,000 square foot production facility, there are countless opportunities for content. Behind the scenes videos and more docs are on the table, explains @NASCAR SVP of Media and Productions Brian Herbst. pic.twitter.com/eaWcvmCG2Y
— John Newby (@JohnNewby_) December 6, 2023
He also explained why the sport needed such a setup. Herbst said, “In this evolving sports media landscape, live event production and investing in technology that enhances the fan viewing experience has never been more important — it’s essential that our new workspace can facilitate that strategic growth.”
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With over 500 live events produced in 2022, it will be interesting to see how many more such events can take place with the help of this new facility. While the state-of-the-art facility shows a lot of promise, the NASCAR fandom did not look very happy about it.
NASCAR’s unveiling of the production facility backfires as they face backlash from the fans
It is no secret that there has been a disconnect between the fans and NASCAR for a long time. It has been evident with the fall in viewership this year. While the governing body is trying to make the sport better, it hasn’t been convincing with the approach. Even the recently inaugurated productions facility failed to get a positive response from the fans.
Many vented out their frustration on social media. One of the most common criticisms of this revelation was the prospect of not having announcements on the track. A fan said, “I really hope this is a joke. Announcing the races not on site is an absolute s**t show.”
Ribbon cutting happening now on Grand Opening of NASCAR’s new multi million dollar Media & Production facility. Chairman Jim France cuts the ribbon, Lesa France Kennedy, Ben Kennedy & President Steve Phelps on hand. #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/Fecxav4jTh
— Danielle Trotta (@DanielleTrotta) December 6, 2023
Another fan said the same thing using an example. The user wrote, “Races with remote announcers are terrible… example Trucks on FS1. Not the broadcasters fault. There is just a disconnect from being at the track.” To be more specific one fan explained why this was not preferable. He said, “The energy is different when announcers are not at the track. It sometimes feels more like a watch-along than a broadcast.”
One Xfinity Series fan feared on similar lines. He said, “Does this mean the xfinity series won’t be broadcasted from the track? If so, massive L” While the facility has a booth, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that announcers will not be present on the track. It is something that can only be cleared with time.
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While all these fans raised their concerns about not having announcers on the track, one specific fan had some strong words for NASCAR President Steve Phelps and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell.
He said, “Nice, after a giant TV deal, they invest in not having to travel to maximize profit further, at the fans expense. Sick of people saying Phelps and O’Donnell are concerned for the future, most decisions they make benefit the France family and the bottom line.”
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While a lot is assumed, it is unclear how NASCAR will go about its business with this new facility. How do you think the facility can best help the sport? Let us know in the comments below.