A recent article of Business Insider has named NASCAR's Bristol Motor Speedway as one of the top 100 venues in all of sports. The article ranked the venues in terms of three categories: architecture, ambiance and aesthetics.
Coming in at No. 77 on the list, the 'World's Fastest Half-Mile' ranked ahead of three National Football League stadiums, three National Basketball Association arenas, half a dozen Major League Baseball parks, Yas Marina Circuit (which hosts the Abu Dabi Grand Prix), and Beijing National Stadium, home of the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Since Bruton Smith took over the speedway in 1996, Bristol has undergone a number of renovations and expansions. The grandstands have grown to encircle the track, the concrete has been resurfaced to allow for two- and three-wide racing, and the infield has received a facelift to allow easier access to fans and competitors alike.
The energy and excitement generated by the mass of NASCAR fans inside Bristol Motor Speedway is unlike any facility on the circuit. For years, fans had to endure a wait list just to purchase tickets. The facility now seats up to 160,000 people in what looks like a modern day Roman coliseum hidden in the hills of Eastern Tennessee.
Each year NASCAR heads to Bristol Motor Speedway twice a year for a day race in the spring and the much-anticipated night race in the fall. If you have a bucket list as a NASCAR fan, or just as a sports fan, Bristol Motor Speedway ought to be on it.