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As NASCAR popularity plummets, HOF could go belly up UPDATE This Charlotte Observer article talks more about the struggles of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

10/14/10 Struggling with declining attendance, the NASCAR Hall of Fame said Wednesday it may cut between $2.5 million and $3 million in annual expenses to balance its budget.

The hall lost $280,509 in August, which some had expected to be one of its strongest months because children are out of school for most of that time.

Since its May opening, the hall has already undergone some belt-tightening, including cutting back on day-to-day expenses and cutting the hours of part-time employees.

“We have asked that the hall look at all aspects of its operations,” said CRVA chief executive Tim Newman. “Labor is one area we are looking at.”

The $200 million hall was built by the city of Charlotte, mostly through a 2 percent increase in the hotel/motel occupancy tax. The city manages the hall through its subsidiary, the CRVA.

Revenue could decline this winter

The hall’s budget for this fiscal year called for $3.31 million in revenue in July and August. Actual revenue for the two months has been $1.43 million.

In an interview Wednesday, Newman acknowledged that the upcoming winter months could produce even less revenue. Sports halls of fame often see their biggest attendance during summer vacation season.

The hall hasn’t released September attendance yet, but it’s likely to be significantly less than August, when 23,534 people visited the racing shrine. Spot-checks by the Observer suggest that September attendance could be around 15,000 people.

The hall initially projected first-year attendance would be 800,000. If the hall’s first four months of attendance continued throughout the year, attendance would be about 360,000.

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