|Lesa France and family faced with a few less million in profits|
Jeff Gordon's retirement and injured driver Tony Stewart's absence are among factors International Speedway Corp. officials cited Tuesday for advance ticket sales being down about 10 percent from a year ago for some upcoming races. ISC officials also said the focus on the Chase for the Sprint Cup may be playing a role in fans purchasing tickets for those events instead of races earlier in the season.
"Star power is very impactful in our sport as it is in any sport," said John Saunders, president of International Speedway Corp. on a conference call with investor analysts. "We've got to be better going forward and think strategically about retiring drivers," Saunders said, "and how you connect their retirement to the rising stars, the young stars, such as the Chase Elliotts and Ryan Blaney drivers."
There are a number of drivers in the NASCAR Xfinity Series who likely will be in Cup full-time soon, including Erik Jones, who turns 20 in May, 23-year-old Darrell Wallace Jr., 24-year-old Ty Dillon and 24-year-old Daniel Suarez. Those young drivers will compete for the championship in a Chase format this year with NASCAR adding that to the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.
Also, discussed on the call with investor analysts:
- Saunders said on the digital platform they've seen consumption from the 18- to 34-year old demographic double year over year but didn't provide details.
- Advanced ticket sales for the July Daytona race are pacing ahead of last year.
- ISC has one of their available Sprint Cup series race sponsorships either open or not announced and two for Xfinity events this season.
- Average ticket price for NASCAR Sprint Cup events at Daytona International Speedway was about $160.07, an increase of more than 19 percent from last year primarily related to new seats sold at higher prices with the Daytona Rising project that reduced capacity from 147,000 to 101,000. NBC Sports