SMI showing flat to soft admissions

Like everything in the financial world these days, Speedway Motorsports Inc. is talking about the economy.

In discussing its first quarter results from 2008, SMI officials said ticket sales for the first part of the year had been lackluster.

While Las Vegas Motor Speedway announced a virtual sellout of its Sprint Cup race with only single-seats available, it wasn’t able to sell every seat and did not put up temporary bleachers it had a year earlier, SMI President Humpy Wheeler said Wednesday during a conference call with financial analysts. Still, Wheeler termed the crowds “excellent" for the Vegas weekend.

The race weekends at SMI's tracks in Atlanta and Bristol, Tenn., were impacted by inclement weather, but Bristol still managed a sellout for its Cup race and a very strong crowd for the Nationwide event, which was shortened because of weather. Atlanta attendance was “soft," Wheeler said.

“While we’re showing flat to soft admissions – down some places, flat in others – we’ve had very, very strong corporate revenues," Wheeler said.

As far as the potential of moving one of the Atlanta dates, Wheeler said moving the October race to Labor Day in a swap with Auto Club (California) Speedway is still a possibility.

“We haven’t gotten any confirmation on that, but we’re continuing to work on it," he said.

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