Bristol Motor Speedway has been selected as one of The World’s 30 Most Important Sports Venues by SportPro magazine.

Of the 30 venues making the list, only nine were in the United States, and BMS, which will host the IRWIN Tools Night Race Aug. 21, was one of only two American race tracks named.

BMS was listed 28th among the world’s most important sports venues. Other facilities in the United States making the list were Augusta National Golf Club, Madison Square Garden, Flushing Meadows, Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Cowboys Stadium.

According to the magazine, Bristol Motor Speedway is the original stadium speedway and “is a racetrack like no other. Nicknamed ‘Thunder Valley’ and advertised as the ‘world’s fastest half mile,’ the biggest little track in racing regularly guarantees that, while the speed of the cars remain relatively low, the adrenaline and tempers of the drivers run high.”

The magazine continues, “With extraordinarily steep banking… and unique 160,000 capacity amphitheatre-like seating, fans can experience all the peril of a modern day chariot race with an additional 750 horsepower. Any seat at the all-concrete speedway offers uninhibited views of 43 cars packed into just over half a mile in a high-speed, 120-mph-plus, bumper-to-bumper race where heavy contact and swapping paint is inevitable.”

Ranked in the top spot on the list is World Games Stadium, the world’s largest solar stadium, in Koashiung, Taiwan. Others listed include Wembley Stadium in London, Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, The Bird’s Nest in Beijing, China and ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

“To be included on such an impressive list of multi-purpose facilities, that have hosted everything from Olympic Games and World Cup matches to Presidential candidate conventions and historic concerts, some in cities with a larger population than our state, is quite humbling,” said Jeff Byrd, president and general manager of BMS. “However, it also emphasizes the iconic nature of Bristol Motor Speedway, not just in motorsports, but in the sporting world in general.”

Bristol, TN/VA has approximately 45,000 residents, easily the smallest community boasting a facility on the prestigious list. Next are Augusta, Ga., with around 194,000 and Gelsenkirchen, Germany with approximately 270,000. Sixteen of the cities/regions on the list claim at least one million residents with Beijing topping the chart with an estimated 17.4 million.*

SportPro, based in England, is the top international publication for the sports industry, offering industry analysis and feature stories, and also focuses on the overall sponsorship and financing of the sports industry, as well as marketing and management.