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NASCAR hall's losses reach $1 million

Thursday, Mar. 10, 2011

The NASCAR Hall of Fame lost $187,983 in January, pushing its cumulative loss for the fiscal year to $1.03 million.

The hall's total attendance for the month was 23,177, which includes nearly 12,000 people who visited for free during a one-week open house.

Before the hall opened in May, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority projected the hall would have a surplus of roughly $700,000 for its first year. But that budget has since been revised, and the CRVA now forecasts a loss of $1.29 million for fiscal year 2011.

The good news for the CRVA is that the hall's financial performance is now matching the revised budget. In its revised budget, the CRVA had projected a loss of $1.07 million through January. That means the hall is slightly ahead of its new budget.

The CRVA, a subsidiary of the city of Charlotte, has said it will use its reserves to cover losses for this fiscal year, which ends in June. If there are losses in future years, the CRVA might have to ask the City Council for money from the hospitality taxes on motel and hotel rooms, as well as on prepared food and beverages.

The CRVA and the city have said that general fund tax dollars - which pay for police, fire and other essential services - won't be used.

The hall probably will have two more lean months in February and March before crowds grow again in April, May and June.

January was a good month for Ovens Auditorium, which has also struggled recently. Ovens had an operating surplus for the month of $107,718.

Ovens and Bojangles' Coliseum are supported in part by a city subsidy of $597,026. Through the first seven months of the fiscal year, Ovens and Bojangles' Coliseum lost $207,067 beyond the city assistance funds.

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