NASCAR »

Track operators welcome any edge to sell tickets

Circuit bosses look at ways to improve ticket sales for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season
NASCAR's decision last month to standardise start times for Sprint Cup Series races came as welcome news to track operators. They need all the help they can get to sell tickets to the races.

No race, not even the Daytona 500, is immune from the effects of the economy on the slumping ticket-buying trends in the sport. Robin Braig, president of Daytona International Speedway, said advance ticket sales are 20 per cent off the pace from the previous year for the sport's biggest race in February.

That's consistent with what other tracks in the International Speedway Corp. family have seen. ISC owns a dozen tracks that are home to Sprint Cup events, and its venues host 19 of the 36 Cup events.

During ISC's third-quarter earnings report earlier this month, company president John Saunders said advance sales are off 25 percent to 30 percent across all venues, both in ticket units sold and total revenue.

Admissions revenue for ISC in the first three quarters of 2009 was $143 million, compared with $172 million in 2008, when the Daytona 500 celebrated its 50th anniversary and ISC had one more Sprint Cup race (Auto Club Speedway) in the third quarter.

Still, ISC officials project ticket sales for the year will be down 15 percent, and Saunders is not optimistic about a quick turnaround.

“We think it will be 2011 before you'll see any noticeable improvement,” he said.

Most track operators emphatically applauded NASCAR's decision to standardise start times, which at least gives tracks a selling point when they call back those fans who have not renewed their tickets. All Sprint Cup races in the Eastern and Central Times Zones will start at 1:15 p.m. ET, and races in the West will start at 3 p.m. ET. Night races will begin at 7:45 ET no matter the location.

Tracks are also pushing tickets at lower prices. In 2010, ISC will lower prices on a third of its tickets, or a cumulative 500,000 seats across its venues. Price reductions have produced positive results in 2009, Saunders said. ISC tracks have sold 90 percent of their tickets at the entry-level price, typically $30 to $40, and of those, more than half have been purchased by first-time buyers.

“For those of us battling the economy, we've got something to talk about now,” Braig said.

Texas Motor Speedway, a track owned by rival Speedway Motorsports Inc., introduced “backstretch busters,” a group of nearly 3,000 seats available for as low as $20 for its April race. Those $20 tickets for Texas' Nov. 8 race have sold out, and close to 80 percent of those fans are first-time ticket buyers.



Tagged as: Sprint Cup , Daytona

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Dale Earnhardt Jr leads the way during the second Gatorade Duel at Daytona [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Darrell Wallace Jr. , driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, celebrates after winning the Camping World Truck 2nd Annual 1-800 Car Cash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 23, 2014 in Rossburg, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, does a burnout after winning the Camping World Truck 2nd Annual 1-800 Car Cash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 23, 2014 in Rossburg, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, celebrates after winning the Camping World Truck 2nd Annual 1-800 Car Cash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 23, 2014 in Rossburg, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, celebrates after winning the Camping World Truck 2nd Annual 1-800 Car Cash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 23, 2014 in Rossburg, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart presents Darrell Wallace Jr. , driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, with the trophy after winning the Camping World Truck 2nd Annual 1-800 Car Cash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 23, 2014 in Rossburg, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, wins the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 2nd Annual 1-800 Car Cash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 23, 2014 in Rossburg, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Scott, driver of the #2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet, leads Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, drive driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinios.com 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet, wins the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Cars race after a restart lead by Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet (L), Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet (R) during the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 AutoTrader.com Ford, and Morgan Shepherd, driver of the #33 Little Joe`s Autos Chevrolet, crash during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Dale - Unregistered

October 21, 2009 4:46 PM

I am sure the economy is playing a part in the decline in attendance but it is more, much more, than that. It is the almighty attitude of Brian France, Mike Helton, and other top officials at Daytona and some of the tracks around the country. People are sick and tired of caution flags, the lack of cars looking and driving like street cars, the high prices of tickets, food, drinks and motel rooms plus tv commercials and the attitude of you will play by our rules for drivers and fans. Stick it NASCAR. I have watched fifty per cent less races than I did last year.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.