It's go-time around here!
By Lori Worley
A month might seem like a lot of time but when you work at a race track, it seems more like a week. Without question, it’s go-time around here. Right now -- and believe me, the adrenalin is pumping!
As I write this, we are 28 days away from August race week at Bristol Motor Speedway. And with four races over three nights, you know it doesn’t get much better than that.
Obviously, we’re always working on our NASCAR events – preparation for the March race week begins not long after the August race ends the previous year and the same goes for the Night Race – long before the checkers fly in the spring, we’re working toward the August event.
Lots of people ask you what you do the other 50 weeks of the year when you work at a track that hosts Sprint Cup events… trust me, making sure everything is as perfect as it can be when the greatest fans in the sport come to visit takes up most of the year.
For everyone at BMS, there’s a tremendous amount of pride that goes into hosting NASCAR and race fans from all 50 states and more than a dozen countries. When those fans who have paid their hard-earned money decide to spend it with you, you darn well want to make sure they have the best experience possible.
We have about 80 full time employees at BMS who, for the most part, will be working seven days a week from this point on, as we ready for IRWIN Tools Night Race week. On race days, we’ll have about 6,000 part-time employees working. These folks, many of whom work at area high schools or churches, are an essential part of the BMS team and like the full time folks, take a lot of pride in making sure our fans leave Bristol having had the time of their lives.
What it comes down to is this: when we’re in the spotlight the goal is to shine brighter than the rest. And though I’m a bit biased having worked her for 15 years, I feel we do it better than anybody else. Our ticket office folks strive to make sure our fans have the best possible service and treat every single fan as if they’re family, which they most certainly are at BMS.
The guys and gals who work in our Operations department are often the unsung heroes when it comes to prepping for a race and handling every possible issue that might come up on a race weekend. They’re the ones who make sure the facility is spotless, everything is freshly painted, the buses and trams are in tip-top shape, the lights and plumbing work, etc. In general, they’re the glue that holds everything together.
Our Events department turns into our biggest department during races because they have so many part-timers helping us out with parking, working the gates, ushering, driving buses and trams, guest services and so much more. Along with Ticketing and Operations, these people are the ones most responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly for fans.
Our Sales folks do a wonderful job with sponsors and clients while our Consumer Marketing peeps are the ones responsible for getting the message out to our fans that BMS is the best, most exciting and unique facility in the world. Our security department works hard to make sure our fans are safe and secure at all times, our Finance personnel keep us all on the straight and narrow and our HR department does all kinds of things at event time, including directing our pre-race show.
Communications, which is where I land, works with a myriad of folks, including media, NASCAR officials and teams, our IBelong program, our kids’ programs and Guest Services.
That’s lots of folks with plenty of responsibilities, and all with one goal: that our fans leave here wanting more after having had the times of their lives.
We honestly feel like we’ve having thousands and thousands of guests over to the house for dinner…you know how it is, you want them to feel at home, you want them to enjoy themselves, you want them to know they’re special, and you want them to want to come back. In short, you want to be the perfect host.
So, our Number One goal is simple: to be the perfect host to the most amazing fans in any sport during NASCAR’s most special week of racing. After all, there’s no place like home and this IS the house that fans built. It’s a homecoming like no other at a track like no other. It’s Bristol!