NASCAR Hall attendance declines slightly

Attendance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame dipped slightly in the past year to 169,724, down from 176,838 visitors in the previous year.

The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority said the decline was due to the previous year’s attendance being inflated by larger-than-normal crowds for the Democratic National Convention two years ago.

The tourism authority, which manages the taxpayer-funded hall, said the DNC attracted about 7,100 visitors in September 2012. The CRVA said the decline in attendance the following fiscal year was expected because there was no similar event.

Attractions like the hall often see declines in attendance in their first three years, as the newness of a museum or exhibit wears off.

The CRVA said it believes the hall’s attendance has stabilized.

The hall, which opened in May 2010, was projected to attract about 400,000 visitors a year. It drew 272,000 visitors in its first year.

The CRVA has not yet released a financial statement for the hall’s most recent fiscal year, which ended in June. The hall has lost money in each of its first three years.

Operating deficits are covered by hospitality taxes, such as a hotel/motel room tax, that fund the CRVA.

The CRVA said the 2013-2014 audit will be released next month.