Economic hit anticipated from losing a NASCAR weekend
The loss of one NASCAR race weekend at Dover International Speedway next year is expected to deal Central Delaware's economy a blow.
Dover Motorsports President and CEO Denis McGlynn characterized moving one Dover race to his company’s track in Nashville “a win, win, win for everybody,” including his company. He noted NASCAR is seeking to rejuvenate the schedule for its fans, race teams, and broadcast partners.
But Pete Bradley, President for the Kent County Tourism Corporation, says there will be an economic hit for the local economy.
"Obviously it's going to have an impact on the Dover market and Kent County and the state overall as the NASCAR weekends are great economic drivers for tourism," said Bradley.
Usually on race weekends, local motels, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses are packed for the three days of races. And while losing that is a tough pill to swallow, Bradley sees why the move was made.
"It's really sad for the Dover market, but you understand the rationale and the business decision behind it for Dover Motorsports to have two cup races in two great markets in the Mid-Atlantic and the Nashville market which apparently is very strong and growing, but we're sad," said Bradley.
Bradley also offers one possible silver lining. With NASCAR only visiting Dover once next year, perhaps more people will show up when it does roll into town.
"I am optimistic though that impact hopefully will be mitigated a little bit but having a greater demand and attendance for the one remaining race. I think a lot of times fans may go to one or the other race in this region," said Bradley. "Hopefully the remaining race will have a greater attendance and demand."
Next year’s single race weekend will reportedly be in May or June.
And there is still hope Dover International Speedway will host a doubleheader this August, making up May’s postponed race along with its scheduled fall race, and having fans in the stands for those races.