Business leaders fear loss of NASCAR races

By Laura Geller - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - It's the engine that drives millions into the area's economy, but local business leaders fear NASCAR could slam on the brakes here. They're urging a major tune up for ticket sales.

The worst case scenario of Richmond losing both races could have disastrous affects on the economy. And RIR wouldn't be the first track with this dilemma.

The cheers of the fans, the rumble of the engines, and the steady stream of cash from merchandise sold on race weekends. They're the sights and sounds of Richmond International Raceway and several other tracks across the country. But they've been silenced elsewhere and area business leaders are hoping that won't happen here.

"When you lose a race, it's a lot of business, a lot of people who will not be attending the races there and won't be coming and spending money in those markets," said RIR President Doug Fritz.

Fritz says Atlanta and LA are experiencing the void after races in those markets were transferred to other tracks. The same goes for five contests in North and South Carolina. Here at RIR attendance is dropping.

So this letter asks business owners to take action and purchase four tickets to the spring and fall Sprint Cup races, creating a foundation for the simple economic rule of supply and demand.

"As they see the ticket supply dwindling, they're going to be more apt to have a little more urgency to buy tickets, book their airlines, book their hotels and plan on coming to this great community," Fritz.

And according to the letter, continuing to bring a $414-million economic impact. Something it says Richmonders can't take for granted.

"Really exciting to see the community leaders, the visionaries that they are to say 'hey let's do something right now," he said.

The letter is signed by presidents of the Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, Richmond Chamber, Retail Merchants Association, Sports Backers, even the County Manager. More than 2,000 businesses have already received it.

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