The economics of NASCAR

Stick and ball sports have attracted most of the attention in the growing academic literature on the economics of sports. Less attention has been paid to motorsports, even though spectator attendance at automobile racing events matches or exceeds that of most other sporting events.

This paper examines the sanctioning of motorsports in the U.S. by NASCAR and explores how the business model of this sanctioning body is distinguished from other sports. The economic incentive for contract compatibility between NASCAR and the tracks is explained and an economic rationale is provided for the generous contracts NASCAR has with downstream tracks.

A statistical analysis of the uncertainty of outcomes for NASCAR and other professional sports provides a rationale for the growing popularity of stock car racing. This paper gives you an idea of how NASCAR has been so good about building relationships in sport. The contrast to IndyCar is very telling. Download PDF

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