NASCAR admissions revenue drops for 10th straight year

The public companies that own most NASCAR tracks reported a 2.7 percent decline in admissions revenue in 2017.

It marked the 10th consecutive year that the tracks have shown a decline, although it is less than the 7.4 percent drop in 2016 reported by International Speedway Corp. (which owns 12 of the 23 NASCAR Cup Series tracks), Speedway Motorsports Inc. (eight tracks) and Dover Motorsports (one track).

ISC reported a slight uptick of 0.9 percent for its races from September through November, while SMI reported a slight decrease of 0.9 percent for October and November.

The admissions revenue includes all of their motorsports events, but the tracks earn most of their revenues from NASCAR weekends. The only NASCAR Cup tracks not owned by public companies are Indianapolis and Pocono.

The three public companies reported overall admissions revenue of $215.1 million in 2017, down from $221.097 million in 2016. The 2017 admissions revenue total is a drop of 54 percent from 2007, when the companies hit an all-time high of $467.4 million.

Through the NASCAR television contract, according to their financial reports (including an adjustment to how SMI reports that revenue), the tracks made an estimated $421 million from the NASCAR television rights in 2017, up 3.9 percent from 2016. The tracks get 65 percent of the television money, the teams get 25 percent through the purse and NASCAR gets 10 percent.