The parent company of Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Wednesday reported that 2013 revenue dropped from 2012 numbers, continuing a downward trend for the past five years for the company that owns eight NASCAR tracks across the country.
Speedway Motorsports Inc. reported 2013 revenue hit $480.6 million, down from $490.2 million in 2012.
The 2013 fourth-quarter results were mixed, as revenue for the final three months reached $82.2 million — slightly up from $82.1 million for the same three-month period in 2012.
But the 2013 fourth-quarter numbers continued to show a trend of declining ticket sales and other race-related revenue. Admission revenue dropped from $18.4 million in October to December 2012 to $17.2 million for the same period in 2013.
Officials for the Concord, N.C.-based company blamed a weak economy, including high unemployment and high food, fuel and health care costs for a drop in revenue and ticket sales.
The 2013 revenue was also hurt by bad weather at a NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway and rain-delayed, shortened and rescheduled NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide races at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway.
Speedway Motorsports’ big revenue-maker is its increasing annual TV broadcast rights deals with Fox and NBC, which help make up for declining ticket sales. NASCAR broadcast revenue for 2013 was $199 million, including $27.4 million for the last three months compared with $192.6 million for 2012 and $26.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2012.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway President and General Manager Chris Powell said he could not comment on Speedway Motorsports issues, but he said his facility expects more fans in the grandstand for this weekend’s Kobalt 400 Sprint Cup and Boyd Gaming 300 Nationwide races compared with last year.
Powell said his track is diversifying its non-NASCAR revenue streams because of a dozen distinct race tracks; renting space to auto manufacturing companies that test products and invite dealers; and various businesses such as the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
“We have nontraditional revenue on non-NASCAR weeks,” Powell said Wednesday.
“Track rental business has increased a lot over 10 years. We just had a private function Tuesday night attended by several thousand people. Auto manufacturers are spending many dollars. It’s helped replace any shortfalls in any other areas.” Powell said. “We are doing business about 51 weeks a year with automotive companies on this property. The revenue we’re deriving is noteworthy.”
Powell said there are 1,400 event days annually at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which covers about 1,000 acres north of Las Vegas.
Speedway Motorsports has identified families and kids as demographic groups to pursue in hopes of growing its fan base.
Powell said his track is using social media to try and capture those fans.
“Time will tell how successful we are with that,” Powell said.
Last year, Las Vegas Motor Speedway had a social media hub at the Neon Garage where racers and industry stars churned out real-time comments, but the social media center will not be returning this weekend, said Jeff Motley, speedway spokesman.
Shares of Speedway Motorsports gained 1 cent, or 0.05 percent, on Wednesday to close at $20.01 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Contact reporter Alan Snel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5273. Follow @BicycleManSnel on Twitter.