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Dover International Speedway

May 15, 2011 by staff 

Dover International SpeedwayDover International Speedway, To Denis McGlynn and business owners in and around Dover, the only true indicator of the health of the economy is the size of the masses at Dover International Speedway.

For three consecutive years, NASCAR has reduced crowds twice a year, an estimated 133,000 in the spring of 2008 to an estimated 88,000 in the spring.

These multitudes reduction mean thousands of dollars less than in Delaware come from outside the fans of other states that sponsor companies in Dover and throughout the state during the weeks of racing.

And as the crowds and dollars disappear, the viability of the largest sports venue Delaware comes into question for a sport desperate to return to the path of growth. In the last decade, has taken the NASCAR race outside the scheduled dates and topics moved to where it is believed that more money can be made.

And while other NASCAR tracks have started to recover, along with the economy, with large crowds last year, sources in the Dover track say sales of tickets for today’s race has been very slow in the weeks prior to the event, leading some to believe people today would be much smaller than the spring event to have happened without the threat of thunderstorms.

Despite the stakes, McGlynn, the director general for monitoring their Dover Motorsports, and state officials said it is little they can do more than wait out the economic storm.

The last time the issue commissioned an economic impact study in 2001 showed that the two race weekends produced and 94 million per year in the state.

McGlynn cannot imagine how much money racing this weekend spill over into the local economy, but, citing the 2001 study, said that “even half that, it remains a very significant amount.”

And while NASCAR racing at Dover still draws the largest crowd for a single event in Delaware, business owners around the track say the drop in attendance has been costly.

“There has been very busy at all,” said Dipa Patel, manager of Raceway Liquors U.S. the 13 near the entrance to the racetrack. “It was very slow this year. It may be a recession. I know a lot of people are still without work and probably do not have the money to spend. I hope things pick up soon.”

Last year, the issue drew some 88,000 fans at each of its Sprint Cup races, down from an estimate of 145,000 made five years. Although attendance is still falling on the tracks like Dover, which has increased in others. There were traitors in Daytona, Phoenix and Las Vegas to start the season, and traitors, near the University of Texas, Talladega and Richmond.

State legislators and tourism officials know that the race weekends in Dover are a major boost to the state’s economy.

State Sen. Brian Bushweller, D-Dover, said there is not much that the state can do to help. He hoped that attendance would increase once the economy recovers.

McGlynn agrees.

“It’s as simple as whether or not you have a job,” McGlynn said. “If you have a job, you can buy the things you want to do. That will determine how quickly the fans coming back.”

Track Promotion
Linda Parkowski, state tourism director, said his office is doing everything possible. Supports marketing efforts of the highway through advertising and sports industry trade shows throughout the region.

The Delaware Tourism Office and promoted the racetrack at the annual convention of the American Business Association in Philadelphia in January. The same was done in a similar show with Maryland officials held at Dover Downs casino.

“We are ready familiarization trips in both events for tour group operators may experience Delaware attractions and places first hand, which included tours of the Dover International circuit,” said Parkowski.

But McGlynn said most of the responsibility to bring back the fans is part of the track.

“We are more or less on our own, and I’ve always felt that is how it always has been,” said McGlynn.

To do so, said the highway is not waiting passively.

“It’s a different world,” McGlynn said, “and we are trying to adapt.”

The theme is attractive to younger families with children 14 years and get by just 8. Ticket packages are also available for 99, which includes one adult ticket and young people, a scanner runs with two headsets, two hot dogs and two sodas.

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