NASCAR tracks get TV revenue to make up for ticket sales drop

NASCAR photographers do their best to not show all the empty grandstand seats
NASCAR photographers do their best to not show all the empty grandstand seats

The tracks that host the bulk of NASCAR races saw their admissions revenues drop 7.4 percent in 2016, marking the ninth consecutive year of declines and the largest drop in the past four.

International Speedway Corp. (12 tracks), Speedway Motorsports Inc. (eight) and Dover Motorsports (one) reported a combined admissions revenue of $221.1 million, down from $238.8 million in 2015. The drop ended a trend of admissions revenue that appeared to have stabilized. After dropping 6.5 percent in 2013, the tracks experienced a decline of 2.5 percent in 2014 and 0.2 percent in 2015.

Mitigating the admissions revenue drop is NASCAR's television deal: Combined operating income generated for the publicly operated tracks by the TV deal was approximately $421 million, up 3.3 percent from 2015.

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