UPDATE: The idea is feasible, it‘s a matter of finances. One sports stadium architect expert estimates such a project at Bristol would cost at least $80 million.
Benjamin Flowers, a professor of Ohio State University‘s Knowlton School of Architecture, said the key for any track would be a cover that does not fully enclose the stadium. By not having an enclosed roof, there will be places for exhaust emissions and sound to escape and fresh air to circulate.
Flowers notes that the “operating expenses of this novel approach (of covering a track) are unknown. That is, historically, you don‘t want to be the first to try something this high-risk. You want to know what the business model is.”
Another benefit of a cover — even if it does not enclose the facility as a roof would — is that it could allow the track and NASCAR to do some creative scheduling.
— NBC Sports —
ORIGINAL POST 4-8-2021: Speedway Motorsports CEO Marcus Smith is serious about putting a roof over Bristol Motor Speedway.
While his father, Bruton Smith, floated the idea four years ago, Marcus made it clear during recent visits to the Dale Jr. Download and the Sirius NASCAR radio show “Dialed- In with Claire B. Lang,” this was no April Fool‘s joke. There are ongoing discussions on how to achieve this over the next few years.
While the idea sounds far-fetched to some, it‘s an engineering feat that certainly seems possible. There are obvious challenges, but this is the same company which turned BMS into the world‘s largest football stadium and brought in 23,000 tons of dirt to host the first NASCAR Cup Series race on dirt in 50 years.
There are concerns about air quality and noise, which would be addressed.
Racing indoors is nothing new. The Tulsa (Oklahoma) Expo Center annually hosts the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. It‘s the largest midget car event on the calendar year with over 300 entries. Other places like Terre Haute, Indiana have indoor racing throughout the winter. Of course, those places don‘t 100,000-plus fans in attendance.