The Bristol Speedway is one of the most historic motorsport venues in the U.S. It is located in Bristol, Tennessee, near the Southwestern border with Virginia. The speedway was originally built in 1947 and is mostly known for its NASCAR races. It also hosts other motorsport series such as ARCA, USAC and the Stadium SUPER Trucks. The following will discuss the seating configuration at the Bristol Speedway.
The Track’s Layout
The Bristol Speedway is an oval track that is 2.5 miles long. There are eleven turns, which include the steepest one in North America (Roughly 45 degrees). The track starts in the south, making it much easier for the drivers to reach speeds in excess of 200 mph. The finish line is located in the north. There are over 30,000 permanent seats in the grandstand, with another 10,000 seats available in the campgrounds. The speedway is accessible from Interstate 65 (Wade Hampton Boulevard exit) and I-26 (Exit 64).
The track’s starting line is at the top of a steep hill, making it very challenging to get off the line in first gear. There are various camera spots scattered around the track, which provide an amazing view of the entire event. You can also find a very good view of the track from the top of the stands near the finish line.
The Grandstand And Campgrounds
The Bristol Speedway’s grandstands are located on both sides of the track. There are three sets of seats, with the cheapest ones being the first four rows in the northeast section of the track. The northeast grandstand is the longest, running nearly half a mile. The other two sections (south and northwest) are shorter but still hold approximately 10,000 seats each. The middle portion of the grandstands is closed to attendees, as it holds corporate sponsors and other areas reserved for NASCAR officials. The campgrounds are located opposite of the grandstands, along with the paddock and motorhome parking lots. If you attend a NASCAR race at Bristol, you will find yourself in familiar surroundings.
The South End & The Roof
The upper deck at Bristol is known as the “South End”, due to its proximity to the entrance to the track. There is a wide range of food and drink choices available for purchase, as well as a twenty-four-hour souvenir shop. You can also find various entertainment options, including a movie theater and bowling alley. At night, the upper deck is turned into a dance floor, with live music provided by local bands. Unfortunately, the view at the South End is somewhat obstructed due to the upper deck’s steep angle.
The Northeast & Southwest Areas
The highest-quality tickets are located in the northeast section of the track, behind the grandstand. This is where you will find the best view of the entire race, as well as the best selection of food and drink. The area is referred to as the “Triangle” because there are three main areas in this section: the first and third-largest grandstands are located along the inside of the track, while the middle one is an open-air, concrete plaza. This is also the only area where you can catch a glimpse of the track from the outside.
In the southwest area of the track, you will find two outdoor picnic areas and a grassy knoll known as the “Teeter-Totter”. The knoll is the location of a yearly fan festival, called the “Rocking the Rollers”, which takes place each August. The picnic areas in the southwest are open-air, with tables, chairs and umbrellas provided. You can bring your own food and drinks, or buy them from nearby vendors. There is also a funicular railway that takes you from the picnic areas to an observation deck at the top of the hill. This view of the track from the air is one of the best in existence.
The West Sides
The west sides of each of the three grandstands are closed to attendees, due to capacity limits. These areas are reserved for NASCAR officials, as well as sponsors and representatives of other motorsport series that use the track. The areas have floor space, tables and chairs, as well as a small, handheld menu for those in need of food or drink. The gates open thirty minutes before the start of practice and qualification for each race, and close after the last car has left the track. The areas are lit by natural light, making it difficult to get a good look at the menus, as the food and drink options are limited and there is nowhere to sit.
It is important to note that none of these areas are accessible to fans with mobility problems. There are no ramps or stairs leading to any of the sections, making it difficult for those with restricted mobility to get to their seats. For those with accessibility needs, finding some spot in the campgrounds is usually the best option.
The Northern & Southern Sides
The open-air southern and northern sides of the track are two of the most historic portions of the facility. The northern side, which faces the campgrounds, is the oldest standing structure at Bristol. It was originally built as the “Brick Row”, back when the track only had a single set of bleachers in the south end. The brick construction is still preserved and visible today. Unfortunately, the northern side is not accessible to fans with mobility issues. The only way to get there is by walking through the campgrounds or over the railroad tracks that run parallel to the track.
The southern side is more recently build and is accessed via a walkway in the campgrounds. In between the bleacher-style grandstand and the walkway is a small cement plaza. A concession stand and toilets are located here. There are also several spots marked for photographers, which provide a good view of the track and some of its famous turns.
A walkway leads from the southern section of the campground over to the southern bleacher stand. This stand is one of the shortest, at just 300 feet, but it is the steepest, running nearly nine degrees. There is also a bridge that connects this bleacher stand to the remaining, northern portion of the campground.
The Paddock And Motorhome Parking Lots
Bristol Speedway’s paddock is located directly in front of the grandstands. It is a large open space, with paddock area, repair garages and office buildings. On the opposite side of the track is the motorhome parking lot, which is also open to fans. These lots have plenty of room for vehicles and have a walkway that leads from the track to the hotel’s main entrance.
How Many Seats At Bristol Speedway?
Based on the information above, it is fairly easy to figure out how many seats are at Bristol Speedway. There are approximately 30,000 permanent seats in the grandstands, with another 10,000 seats available in the campgrounds. For comparison, the Daytona International Speedway has approximately 66,000 seats and the Michigan International Speedway has around 69,000. On top of that, there are around 2500 camping spots at the Bristol Speedway, offering a total of around 95,000 seats. It is important to note that these are just approximations, as the exact seating configuration changes depending on the configuration of the races and the capacity of the various areas. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us!