Can NASCAR take over the L.A. Coliseum?
source: StadiumDB.com; author: michał
Over 70 years since the racing series first used a football stadium as temporary race track, NASCAR is again interested in an exhibition event. This time, at the venue of 2028 Olympics, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
After a century in operation, there’s hardly an event that the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum hasn’t hosted. Super Bowl? Not only has the Coliseum hosted the game twice, it was the place of the very first Super Bowl, back in 1967! Then came the 1984 Olympics, it even played host to the World Series in baseball, back in 1959. American football, soccer, currently even rugby, all of which you can place bets on via Intertops sportsbook. There were more exotic events as well, even car racing.
Now, stock car racing is again on the agenda, after recent news confirming such plans from NASCAR. The world-famous series is working to reinvent itself and boost its presence in American society. Supposedly, moving into one of the most famous stadiums could be part of the effort.
According to The Athletic and several other media outlets, the Coliseum is targeted to hold an exhibition race already in 2022. The event would replace the pre-season Busch Clash, currently held in Daytona ahead of the Daytona 500. It wouldn’t be included in the series itself, rather used as a promotional event.
It wouldn’t be the first in-stadium NASCAR event, either. But the last time the brand tried racing inside a football stadium was back in the 1950s, when Soldier Field was still an Olympic stadium with running track around the field and horseshoe-shaped stands. The exhibition race didn’t last long, by the 1960s NASCAR moved away from stadiums, leaving temporary asphalt tracks to lower levels of stock car racing.
As of today there is no detailed plan of how the short track could look. Its parameters are yet to be disclosed, but the 77,500-seat stadium has a history of holding racing, so we know for sure it is possible. And nowadays it’s also possibly quite lucrative, after the 2017-19 renovation of the Coliseum boosted its hospitality potential.
With the downtown L.A. stadium being left with limited revenue options these days, the exhibition race format might prove a win-win solution for both sides. NASCAR could once more fight not to be associated with less developed southern states with the strong showing in California, while the stadium could earn perhaps not one but a couple of sell-out nights annually.
We should note that the Coliseum is a peculiarly-shaped stadium, owing the oval form to its historic nature. Listed as a national monument, the stadium is irregular for today’s sports, with the playing surface nearly 180 metres long but just 65 metres wide. But, thankfully, that’s where today’s technology comes in. The temporary race track could be fitted inside the stadium bowl either on the field itself or on a platform, just like the planned running track during the 2028 Olympics, one more mega event expected to be held at the Coliseum.