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DATE News (chronologically)
11/10/11
track news
SMI happy about 2011 results so far
Speedway Motorsports Inc.’s financial results have exceeded company expectations for the first nine months of 2011, even with it not including $772,000 of ticket revenue taken in from the race at Kentucky Speedway.

The company will record that revenue at a later date when fans who missed the race due to traffic and parking problems exchange their tickets for another SMI event.

Through September, the company has turned a profit of $47.6 million from continuing operations, an increase of 15.4 percent from the $41.3 million earned for the first nine months of 2010.

As reflected on its balance sheet released last week, SMI actually has lost $6 million this year, but that includes a $48.6 million loss from an accounting measure that dealt with deferred taxes from the $340 million purchase of New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The first nine months included 10 Cup weekends – two at Bristol and New Hampshire and one apiece at Texas, Charlotte, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Kentucky and Infineon. The Charlotte race weekend in October and the recent Texas weekend are the only two weekends on the 2011 schedule that aren’t included in SMI’s latest figures.

The Kentucky weekend in July helped the bottom line but was mired in traffic woes. SMI is working to correct those issues – it bought 143 acres of land for another 11,000 cars to park – and offered a ticket exchange for those who missed the race to any other SMI event this year or the Kentucky race next year. Its events through September did not see a significant number of ticket exchanges, so SMI has deferred recording $772,000 of its income from ticket sales from the Kentucky race and will apply it to corresponding ticket exchanges for recent events at Charlotte and Texas (but more than likely most of it to Kentucky next year).

Ticket sales through September dropped 8.8 percent overall from $117.9 million to $107.5 million, with Las Vegas and Bristol bringing in lower revenues this year as well as the Atlanta race that was postponed from Sunday to Tuesday because of rain, according to Chief Financial Officer Bill Brooks.

Overall revenues are down less than 1 percent from $419.3 million to $416.7 million.

One key element of the company revenues comes from NASCAR’s television rights deal. The deal ends in 2014, and negotiations have started for future deals.

“We’re bullish on the TV rights front as TV rights in sports have seen record revenues, and we think that is a great thing looking forward for the NASCAR rights and the negotiations that are beginning now and what it bodes for the sport and for our company,” SMI President Marcus Smith said.

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