Speedway Motorsports tries to stem decline in admissions revenue

As NASCAR attendance continues to decline, Speedway Motorsports is searching for the formula to bring in new race fans while keeping the loyalty of longtime ones.

The Concord-based track operator released its second-quarter earnings Wednesday, showing a 2 percent decrease in admissions revenue in the three-month period from a year ago. But event-related revenue and NASCAR broadcasting revenue rose, helping to boost total revenue by 2 percent to $179.3 million.

Overall, the company’s second-quarter income increased by 10.5 percent from last year, from $24.7 million to $27.3 million. In early afternoon trading Wednesday, the company’s shares jumped more than 9 percent to $20.33.

SMI cited underemployment, the absence of a stronger middle class economic recovery, and changing demographics and media entertainment consumption as negative impacts on revenue. NASCAR has seen a trend of declining attendance in recent years – admissions revenue for SMI fell by 28 percent from 2010 to 2015.

SMI, which owns and operates the Charlotte Motor Speedway and seven others around the country, is using new family-centered strategies and entertainment to attract fans.

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