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Indianapolis speedway plans new building for non-race events

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Indianapolis speedway plans new building for non-race events

he Borg-Warner Trophy complete with a checkered flag mask, is displayed outside of the Pagoda before the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, in Indianapolis.(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will add an infield building that is aimed at increasing use of the track area throughout the year.

The new structure near the oval’s Turn 3 will be leased by BMW as part of a multiyear agreement to bring a seasonal driving center to the speedway’s road course, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported.

BMW’s M Driving Experience Center will include a showroom, classroom areas, a conference room and direct access to the IMS road course for prospective buyers.

“It will have a classroom in it, so they can do pre-track instruction, and it will also have a small service bay area so they can prep the cars they use and service them properly,” speedway President Doug Boles said.

Uwe Dreher, vice president of marketing for BMW of North America, said the ability to bring programs to IMS allows the company to “formally expand our experiential and instructional classes to a totally new region in the U.S. market.”

Boles said the building also will be used for race-day hospitality and other small events throughout the year when it’s not being used by BMW. The building will be “much different” in its appeal than the track’s existing 110 suites, which are largely along the straightaways and on the outer rim of Turn 2.

The one-story building will feature a rooftop deck with a view of Turns 3 and 4 and is close to the Snake Pit area where musical acts on Indy 500 race days.

“On days where we’re not hosting races, it could be great space for somebody who wants to host a cocktail reception or have a meeting for their company and then have a dinner in a unique place,” Boles said.

Construction is expected to begin this year and be completed by summer 2022, Boles said.