SBD/January 13, 2011/Facilities

NASCAR HOF Budget Cut By Nearly $4.8M, Reduces Marketing

NASCAR HOF has had 119,576 visitors during first five months of current FY
The NASCAR HOF “had its budget cut by nearly $4.8 million on Wednesday as the board that oversees its performance opted to base its budget on a worst-case scenario of 250,000 visitors from July 2010 to June 2011,” according to Bob Pockrass of SCENEDAILY.com. For the first five months of the FY, the HOF has “had 119,576 attendees and is running a deficit of $509,703, $342,871 from royalties due to NASCAR that NASCAR agreed to defer until” the HOF turns a profit. For the full year, the new budget “projects a deficit of $1,288,383, which will be covered by the reserves” of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, the city board that operates the HOF. The HOF originally was “projected to make $792,839 -- making the new bottom line more than $2 million less than the original budget.” The “biggest spending cuts will come from exhibit contract services, which will be cut by nearly $1.3 million, and marketing and promotions, which will be cut $826,292 and will include less radio, television and billboard advertising.” The HOF will “still have rotating exhibits in its ‘great hall’ area and will change the exhibits in the inductee area as five new members are inducted each year.” But HOF Exec Dir Winston Kelley yesterday said that it “won’t update the ‘race week’ area and other areas that would have been updated to correlate with industry changes.” NASCAR also has “dropped its $100,000 required donation to the NASCAR Foundation.” Kelley said, “We had a couple of staff positions that we will not be filling, but we won’t be laying off any full-time staff. We identified opportunities as we’ve been open, where we can reduce the number of part-time staff.” Pockrass noted the HOF, beginning last Saturday and lasting through tomorrow, has been offering free admission from 4:00-6:00pm ET in an “attempt to generate more local interest.” More than 1,500 people “attended the first day the offer was available” (SCENEDAILY.com, 1/12).
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