New Seats for Sears Point

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
With so many sub-par racing facilities littering the world, it's a nice change of pace when we see a track owner spending cubic dollars to make racing more enjoyable and accessible for the fans. The $35 million Modernization Plan at SearsPoint Raceway is a big step in this direction as construction crews have just installed thefirst Hillside Terrace Seats in the project.

The first rows of seats have been installed in the hillside area above Turn 2 onthe road course. Approximately 34,000 of these seats will be ready for the 2001racing season alongside Turns 2-4. An additional 30,000 terraced seats will beconstructed above Turns 8-9 during Phase Two of the project, which will beginfollowing the 2001 racing season.

The two-year project is scheduled to be fully complete by the 2002 racingseason.

"This seating environment will be unique to motorsports. Our terraces willcombine the best aspects of a reserved grandstand with the less formal traditionof relaxing on a hillside in the Wine Country," said Steve Page, president andgeneral manager at Sears Point. "It's exciting to see them finally taking shapeand to actually see the kinds of sweeping views they provide."

The seats will provide fans will extensive space comforts. Each seat will be 24inches wide, a full 33-percent wider than the average bleacher seat (18 inches).Moreover, there will be nearly four feet of leg room in front of each seat (43inches). The seats alongside Turns 2-4 will also offer fans a breathtaking viewof virtually the entire road course, with the exception of Turns 3a and 11.

The project just completed its third month and crews have moved more than threemillion cubic yards of dirt. In addition, 25 tons of drain rock has been used,as well as three miles of drain pipe.

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