International Speedway Corp. saw an increase in profits in 2011 while also cutting seating capacity at nine of its 12 tracks that play host to Sprint Cup races. ISC, a publicly traded company with more than 71 percent of its stock owned by the NASCAR-controlling France family, saw its stock remain in the $26 dollar range since the release of its annual financial report Thursday that listed a 4.5% increase in profits from core operations. ISC began significantly decreasing the number of seats in 2010, when it cut capacity at several tracks. The most significant drop came at Phoenix, which saw its capacity shrink from 67,000 to 55,000. Daytona remains ISC's biggest track at 147,000 grandstand seats and has not seen a significant seat change in the last two years while the remainder of the Cup facilities have had a combined decrease of 15%. ISC sold 83-87% of its capacity for Cup events, ISC President John Saunders said in a conference call Thursday with investors. Overall ticket sales revenue, though, was down 10% from $160.5 million in 2010 to $144.4 million – and down 43% from $253.7 million four years earlier in 2007. Ticket prices will remain basically the same for 2012, after a drop of about 3% for Cup races for an average ticket price of $82.17. While ISC took in $144.4 million in ticket sales, it took in much more from television rights. Its broadcast revenues from the NASCAR television contract, where it took in $202 million in 2011, will rise 3.5% in 2012. Scene Daily
01/27/12 Despite seeing total revenues decrease by $15.6M last year, Int'l Speedway Corporation Thursday reported net income of $69.4M for FY '11. Admissions revenue decreased 10% from '10 to $144.4M, but ISC did not host IndyCar Series events at its Kansas, Chicagoland, Watkins Glen or Home. While it's customers (the fans) are fighting to make ends meet financially, and despite many empty seats in the grandstands, ISC was making so much profit years ago due to ridiculous ticket prices that even now it's profit is huge. Fans are not stupid, they see this, and will continue to not show up at the races in protest. In turn ISC is making their seats wider, thereby reducing the number of empty seats so it does not look so embarrassing. Rest assured that if they could fill all the seats they would, even if the paying customers were packed in like sardines.