Combined 2017 NASCAR attendance revenue was $215.1 million
That data is from all three of the publicly traded companies which own race tracks that host NASCAR events. Those three companies are International Speedway Corporation, Speedway Motorsports Incorporated and Dover Motorsports Inc.
Their combined attendance revenue is $215.1 million. That’s a 2.7% drop since 2016.
Previously, the drop from 2015 to 2016 was 7.4%. That year, track press releases from International Speedway Corporation noted the massive attendance drop was due to retirement of the veterans such as Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart.
The $215.1 millions number features the combined admission revenues from all 3 organizations. Some of these tracks host more than just NASCAR events. However, the majority of the attendance revenue from each comes from NASCAR sanctioned events.
In 2016, their combined total attendance revenue was $221.097.
At the same point, TV revenue was up for 2017. NASCAR sanctioned tracks were distributed $421 million in total. That’s a great sign. Other reports from mid-2017 noted that the TV viewing audience saw a significant jump for those aged 18-34.
When Jimmie Johnson won the championship in 2016 he stated that the championship winning payout (numbers that aren’t released) saw a significant drop since his previous title. Johnson won the title in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2016. That tells you less people are watching NASCAR TV content from 2013 compared to 2016.
The current TV payout structure allows the tracks to keep the majority of the revenue. 65% is split with the host tracks, 25% of the TV money goes to the teams and NASCAR keeps the remaining 10% for themselves.
This is a similar payout structure used for other racing series like the Formula One World Championship.
Last year, Denny Hamlin made an argument that the teams should see an increased percentage of the TV money. He noted that the costs of operating a NASCAR team have skyrocketed in the previous years. As a result, teams have been dependent of sponsorship dollars to stay afloat.
His overall comments weren’t well perceived by the fans. However, Hamlin was correct in all his statements. It’s probably time to readjust the pie chart as the cost on the team continues to rise.
Though, on the other hand, in recent years many tracks have been in a rampant stage of upgrades. Bristol, Vegas, Texas, Darlington, Daytona, Richmond, Charlotte, ISM Raceway, Martinsville Speedway are a number of tracks that have recently received or are currently undergoing massive overhauls in one form or another.
2017 NASCAR Tracks
International Speedway Corporation: Daytona International Speedway; Talladega Superspeedway; Michigan International Speedway; Richmond Raceway; Auto Club Speedway; Kansas Speedway; ISM Raceway; Chicagoland Speedway; Route 66 Raceway; Hometsead-Miami Speedway; Martinsville Speedway; Darlington Raceway; Watkins Glen International;
Speedway Motorsports Incorporated: Atlanta Motor Speedway; Bristol Motor Speedway; Charlotte Motor Speedway; Kentucky Speedway; Las Vegas Motor Speedway; New Hampshire Motor Speedway; Sonoma Raceway; Texas Motor Speedway;
Dover Motorsports Inc: Dover International Speedway and Gateway Motorsports Park
Amount tallies are from a Bob Pockrass for ESPN. Those numbers contributed to this report.