An artist’s rendering of the new bar and hospitality space at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

LEADOFF: Sports venue trend drives addition to Atlanta Motor Speedway

Good morning. This is LEADOFF, today’s early look inside Atlanta sports.

Sports venues have focused in recent years on adding social gathering spaces for fans, a trend reflected at SunTrust Park, Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the under-renovation Philips Arena. 

The latest example: Atlanta Motor Speedway announced Monday a new multi-purpose bar and hospitality space being built within its grandstand seating area. 

Branded the “Restart Bar,” the space is located 20 rows above the track in the Earnhardt Grandstand and will include a bar, high-top tables, space for games and activities, and both open-air and indoor areas. It gets its name from a location overlooking the NASCAR restart zone on the track’s frontstretch, AMS said. 

The space is scheduled for completion in time for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR weekend Feb. 23-25 and will be used for events year-round. 

In a news release, AMS said the addition will provide “a highly social and engaging atmosphere” and “a more interactive space,” accommodating up to 300 people. 

Check out these past stories on how the same trend is playing out at other Atlanta sports venues: 

SunTrust Park 

Mercedes-Benz Stadium 

Philips Arena 

MORNING READING … 

> Baseball America says the Braves have baseball’s No. 1 prospect and eight of the top 72 prospects. See David O’Brien’s story here and Mark Bradley’s column here

The Falcons went 0-2 vs. the Super Bowl teams, 0-3 against the NFL’s final four and 3-6 against the playoff field. See Jeff Schultz’s blog here.

Atlanta United opened training camp for its second season Monday. See Doug Roberson’s reports here and here.