SBD/August 23, 2013/Facilities

NASCAR HOF Posts $1.6M Loss As Attendance Drops By More Than 20,000 Visitors

Attendance at the HOF fell by more than 20,000 this year
The NASCAR HOF "lost $1.6 million during the fiscal year ended June 30," according to Erik Spanberg of the CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL. A pre-audit report provided by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority showed that the deficit for FY '12 was $835,281. The numbers were "calculated differently, so making a direct comparison and saying the deficit doubled is difficult." But despite the "deficits in fiscal 2013," CRVA CEO Tom Murray said that the results "beat the projections by $600,000." Murray said that while the HOF still runs deficits, the "overall visitors authority had a successful year." Revenue grew by 11% over '12, to $51.5M. The CRVA also was "able to invest $2.5 million in its reserve fund, boosting the reserve fund total" to $4M. For FY '13, the HOF "received $500,000 from the city for maintenance and other costs associated with building upkeep." That money is "included in the racing museum’s $6.3 million in revenue for the year." Attendance for the venue "fell to 176,838 this year, down from 197,410 visitors" in '12. During the "first full year the museum was open, ending in April 2011, attendance totaled 278,046" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 8/21). In Charlotte, Steve Harrison notes the HOF’s "operating loss was $900,000, which was paid for by CRVA reserves." But the larger $1.6M deficit "includes so-called accrued debt," which "hasn't been paid." Murray said that the CRVA is "focusing not so much on attendance, but on getting visitors to spend more on secondary purchases such as simulator rides and audio-guide tours" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/23).
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