Attendance, like speeds, is going up

February 11, 1991|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Evening Sun Staff

According to the annual Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. attendance survey, last year was another year of growth.

The survey shows attendance at 15 major North American auto racing series increased by more than 800,000 spectators in 1990, surpassing 12 million for the first time.

The professional series monitored by Goodyear are: NASCAR Winston Cup and Grand National stock cars; CART Indy-cars, NHRA and IHRA dragsters; World of Outlaws sprint cars; SCCA Trans-Am cars; IMSA GT Prototype and GT0-GTU sports cars; MTEG stadium off-road vehicles; ARCA stock cars; ACT stock cars; ASA stock cars; and NASCAR modified and Winston West stock cars.

The overall figures showed a growth of 7.5 percent over 1989 for a total of 12,046,193 spectators at 268 events. That is up from 11,203,126 for 271 events in 1989.

Average event attendance rose 8.7 percent, from 41,339 to 44,948.

NASCAR's Winston Cup series remains the top draw, attracting 3,336,675 spectators to its 29 races, an increase of 6.7 percent over 1989.

Winston Cup tracks have operated at near 90 percent capacity over the past two years. At Dover, Del., the track has consistently sold out its two NASCAR events and will add a new 5,000-plus grandstand by the time its race is scheduled June 2.

CART had the biggest gain in 1990, getting a 24.5 percent attendance increase for 15 races. Virtually all of that gain was without the premier Indy-car event, the Indianapolis 500, which is a virtual sellout every year.

Overall Indy-car attendance rose by 335,065 spectators to 2,616,115.

Additionally, Goodyear's figures showed that the worldwide, 16-race Formula One series drew 2,616,300 spectators, an increase of 279,800.

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