SBD/Issue 222/Facilities & Venues

Bumps In The Road: Kentucky Speedway Sees Record-Low Crowds

Kentucky Speedway Sees Record-Low
Crowd For IRL Meijer Indy 300

The crowd of 35,814 for Sunday’s IRL Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway “was the smallest crowd by almost 12,000 (47,323 in 2001) ever to see the IRL run” at the seven-year-old track, and was down by almost 27,000 fans from 62,595 last year, according to Mark Story of the LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Built Ford Tough 225 on July 8 drew 21,889, also “the smallest crowd ever to see it run” at the track. However, a record crowd of 72,886 attended the Busch Series Meijer 300 on June 17. Kentucky Speedway Exec VP & GM Mark Cassis said, “I am concerned, but not pushing the panic button. If we hadn’t drawn 70,000-plus here for Busch in June, then I’d be a whole lot more worried.” Cassis said that factors contributing to Sunday’s low attendance “included the stratospheric cost of gas” and an “overall economy that, in Ohio, is uneven at best.” Also, the Bengals began their preseason schedule against the Redskins at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday night. Cassis said next year’s truck race will move to July 21. He added that the track is “hoping to move the IRL race to” Saturday, August 18, at 8:00pm ET, but “had not been able to get that date and start time cleared with ABC/ESPN” (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 8/14).

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