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NASCAR debuts new production facility

CONCORD, N.C. — NASCAR CEO Jim France cut the ceremonial red ribbon outside of a new facility located adjacent to the NASCAR R&D Center, officially kicking off a new era for NASCAR Productions.

The 58,000-square-foot building is the new state-of-the-art home of NASCAR Productions, NASCAR Studios and the Motor Racing Network. It houses more than 140 employees.

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The $53-million facility boasts eight control rooms, four audio control rooms, four announcer booths, eight editing suites, podcast studios and two audio sweetening rooms. There are three studios, the largest of which is 1,500 square feet.

These studios will feature LED screens so that NASCAR can change the set based on which team, driver, or broadcast partner is using it at the specific time. The facility has doors to the parking lot which drivers can use to pull their stock cars into the building for studio use.

The opportunities for content creation are countless. Teams can use the facility for projects that will highlight their drivers. NASCAR can use the facility for preview shows, highlights, recaps and numerous other projects. More documentaries and glimpses behind the scenes are options on the table.

Of course, the new production facility will be the backbone of NASCAR’s new approach to broadcasting races across the national series.

“There’s going to be a lot more live event work that we’re going to be doing out of this facility for our broadcast partners,” said Brian Herbst, NASCAR SVP of media and productions.

“For instance, the CW deal, that’s a full-season deal for the Xfinity Series. We’re going to be handling all of the production work for that series both above and below the line. ... It’s also designed to support Monday through Thursday content,, NASCAR Digital, anything else that is going to come up in the future.”

NASCAR Productions already works with Fox Sports to remotely broadcast the Truck Series races. The new facility opens more opportunities for this if broadcast partners choose that option.

“The Truck Series, which NASCAR Productions produces for Fox and FS1, all of that is essentially from a facility in downtown Charlotte,” Herbst said. “I think you’ll probably see more of that in the future. What that looks like is TBD.”

A key part of the live events will be race control. There will be officials that will actually work out of the NASCAR Productions facility in Concord instead of going to the track each week.

These officials will work out of a room featuring a 10-foot tall and 35-foot wide LED screen that covers one wall. The purpose of the screen is to give them better sight lines with the camera feeds of the action on the track and on pit road.

Moving some race officials to a remote location is not a new concept. It actually began four years ago with some pit road officials working out of the Five Fifty South building in Charlotte. Now some officials will work out of the new facility.

“There are two parts to this investment,” Herbst said. “There is the building itself, which is a fairly significant investment that NASCAR and the France family made, but there is also a significant investment in terms of production technology. We worked with (NEP Group).

“So all of the old technology that we have, that’s currently in our building in downtown Charlotte, that is 14 years old. So we refreshed all of that as a part of this move. So does it allow for us to do a little bit more from a live event perspective? For sure.”

NASCAR made this move possible by working once again with NEP Group, a Pittsburgh-based company that has provided technology for the Olympic Games, the Academy Awards, the Tour de France, and numerous other prestigious events.

NASCAR and NEP already had a business relationship lasting more than 20 years. Collaborating on the new NASCAR Productions facility was the latest step, one that helped limit the number of employees who have to travel to the track each week.

According to NASCAR, there were more than 140 NASCAR Productions employees traveling to each race on the schedule throughout the season. The list included producers, directors, engineers and everyone else that brings broadcasts to life.

Now, more than 100 of these employees can work out of the Concord facility. The producers and directors can work out of a massive production room, which replaces some production trucks at the track. This means the employees are spending less time on the road and more time with their families.

NASCAR has its new TV deal in place that begins in 2025. It will bring together NBC Sports, Fox Sports, Amazon, the CW and Discovery. Now it has the facility in place to support all of these broadcast partners. Next up are the 2024 NASCAR and IMSA seasons when NASCAR will put this facility to use.