DAYTONA BEACH and MIAMI, Fla. (February 5, 2009) - International Speedway Corporation officials joined other leaders in Florida’s sports industry to meet with Florida Governor Charlie Crist on Tuesday, Feb. 3. The gathering was the latest of Governor Crist’s “Tallahassee Tuesday” sessions, which provide an opportunity for business and community leaders to share their thoughts and ideas on a variety of issues affecting Florida. As part of his ongoing commitment to strengthen Florida’s economy, the governor met with representatives of the $36-billion-a-year industry to discuss the importance of sports to the State’s overall economy.
Motorsports is the predominant leader on Florida’s sports scene. The combined economic impact of International Speedway Corporation’s operations, including the world famous Daytona International Speedway and South Florida’s Homestead-Miami Speedway, bring $2.3 billion to the State annually while supporting over 38,000 Florida-based jobs. In addition, ISC’s Florida-based activities contribute more than $185 million in tax revenues to local and state government.
“We’re pleased Governor Crist recognizes the impact of our sport on the state’s economy,” said Robin Braig, President of Daytona International Speedway. “The Daytona 500, the ‘Great American Race’ is the single-largest sporting event in Florida, and Forbes magazine ranks it as the fourth most recognized sports brand in the world. In addition, the Daytona 500 Experience draws race fans to the Daytona Beach area 364 days a year. Lastly, we look forward to enhancing our fan experience with the opening of Daytona Live!”
Daytona Live! is a high-end retail and entertainment complex under development that features the new world headquarters of International Speedway Corporation, NASCAR and Grand American Road Racing.
“Homestead-Miami Speedway will make history in 2009 as the first Speedway ever to host all six of North America’s premier motorsports championships—NASCAR’s Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series; IndyCar and Firestone Indy Lights; and the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Curtis Gray. “This reflects not only the influence the Speedway has had on fans of the fastest-growing sport in America, but also the positive economic impact of the corresponding corporate sponsorship, tourism and international media attention that is focused on the state of Florida as a result of the races.”
Governor Crist will visit Daytona International Speedway to serve as Grand Marshal for the 51st running of the Daytona 500. On Feb. 15, Gov. Crist will deliver the most famous words in motorsports -- “Gentlemen, start your engines” – to start NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race.
DIRECTV SPEEDWEEKS® 2009 is highlighted by the season-opening 51st annual DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 15. Other events include the Camping World 300 Nationwide Series race on Saturday, Feb. 14, the NextEra Energy Resources 250 Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, Feb. 13, the Gatorade Duel At DAYTONA qualifying races on Thursday, Feb. 12, DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented by Kroger on Sunday, Feb. 8 and the Budweiser Shootout and the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 on Saturday, Feb. 7. Race fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com
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