NASCAR unveils state-of-the-art production facility in North Carolina
NASCAR is gearing up for a transformative phase with the impending launch of its new $53 million, 58,000-square-foot production facility in Concord, North Carolina, scheduled to be fully operational in January.
This facility, owned by NASCAR, symbolises a significant shift for NASCAR Productions, NASCAR Studios, MRN Radio and the 140 employees who will be stationed there.
The ownership of the facility grants NASCAR greater control over its physical space, providing the organisation with enhanced capabilities. Featuring eight control rooms, three studios, a dozen edit suites equipped with 10-Gbps connectivity and more, the facility is poised to become a hub of activity and content creation for one of racing’s premier brands.
Steve Stum, VP of Operations and Technical Production at NASCAR, highlighted the facility’s shift in focus.
“The old building [in Charlotte, NC] was built more for long-form documentary-style shows, which we were doing a lot of 20 years ago,” Stum explained.
“The new one is built more for live event production. This sets us up for future production that the old building wasn’t capable of.”
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The eight control rooms are versatile, handling various functions. Two main control rooms are designed for large-scale remote productions, while the others will cater to international feeds, video-screen shows at the track, OTT services, studio shows and alternative broadcasts. Each of the larger control rooms boasts an audio room, a submix room, an announce booth, and EVS operations.”
Plans are underway to construct a remote race-control room that will enable communication with officials at the track, incorporating SBG Race Watch software for efficient race management. The facility’s flexibility allows rightsholders to explore different approaches to race coverage, with The CW, a new rightsholder, planning to conduct its race coverage from the facility.
“As we get into next year, we are talking to the broadcasters to see what we want to do and what they want to do,” Stum added.
“How do we make production more efficient in the future? If everybody wants to go to Daytona and be all together, we can do that. Or we might all be back here if it’s a smaller race like Martinsville.
“The key is flexibility, and we are in a good position to do Rolex and truck and ARCA races from here. That allows us to get dialled-in for 2025.”
The studios within the facility, including an 1,100-square-foot space, are varied in size to accommodate different needs, ranging from daily to weekly studio shows for domestic and international audiences. LED screens are expected to play a crucial role in enhancing the studio experience.
The inclusion of control rooms for alternative broadcasts opens up diverse options in an era where catering to niche audiences is paramount. The facility’s capabilities make it possible to explore Spanish-language coverage, kid-focused broadcasts, or female-focused coverage to meet the expanding demands of digital offerings.
The facility features a studio designed for on-air talent to call races off-tube, offering a unique setup with three podiums for talent to engage in conversations while viewing a Samsung 146-inch 4K monitor. Multiple cameras on the track’s roof provide a comprehensive view of the entire track without obstructing elements like poles.
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