NASCAR Cup Series Returns, sports tourism impact on Henrico

County leaders say they’ve seen a $1.5 million economic impact within the last year.
Big sporting events like the NASCAR Cup Series are creating an increase in sports tourism dollars for Henrico County.
Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 5:55 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Start your engines because Nascar Cup Series returns to Richmond Raceway this Sunday.

Richmond Raceway’s new President, Lori Collier Waran, says fans better buckle up because celebrations start Tuesday.

Waran says they’re jam-packed with events leading up to this weekend’s big race.

“We’re so excited to have everyone come down,” Waran said.

Waran says fans will begin camping out on Tuesday, the Tracks Laps for Charity for Special Olympics is Wednesday and Bubba’s sold-out block party takes place Thursday night. Then Cody Johnson will perform at his sold-out concert Friday at the amphitheater.

Saturday will consist of night races starting around 8 p.m., then Sunday is the NASCAR Cup Series starting at 4 p.m.

Waran, who took on her new role just last month, says she plans to sit with fans in the grandstands the first few laps.

“I think that’s going to be my time and my special time to see what they see, feel what they feel, and feel the rumble of their cars. I think that’s what I’m going to be looking most forward to,” Waran said.

Waran says they’re expecting tens of thousands of fans. She says there’s also been an eight percent increase in Nascar viewership this year.

Henrico will also be hosting its Babe Ruth 13-year-old Baseball World Series starting Wednesday for those who don’t prefer hitting the track.

The ten-day tournament will welcome nearly 400 families to the Glen Allen stadium.

Henrico Sports and Entertainment Authority’s Communications Manager Dawn Miller says sporting events like these two significantly impact local tourism.

“We’re up $1.5 million in economic impact from July 2021 to July 2022,” Miller said.

Miller says sports tourism brings in over $60 million in economic impact annually, and families are no longer pumping the breaks regarding COVID.

“They want to get out, and they want to start living their lives. Sports are a really big part of families’ lives. They’re going to take their vacations wrapped around these sports tournaments, and that’s what they’re seeing,” Miller said.

For more information regarding Richmond Raceway and the NASCAR Cup Series, click here.

Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.

Send it to 12 here.

Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.