The Frontstretch: Well, Duh! NASCAR PR Once Again Overstates the Obvious by Jeff Meyer -- Wednesday October 17, 2007

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Well, Duh! NASCAR PR Once Again Overstates the Obvious

Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Wednesday October 17, 2007


Whenever I am feeling down and I'm sure that my world is going straight to heck in a hand basket, I can always count on a bit of NASCAR PR to brighten my day and reassure me that the world is, in fact, a good and happy place. This week was no exception.

The press release that once again allowed me to sleep peacefully wasn't actually from NASCAR itself, but rather, Michigan International Speedway. However, since MIS is owned and operated by International Speedway Corporation (ISC) and ISC is essentially the conjoined twin of NASCAR, I consider it all from the same source.

What this particular press release stated was that MIS has a greater economic impact to the Detroit area’s economy than the Super Bowl. Wow! NASCAR bigger than the Super Bowl?! That's pretty impressive. What makes it even more impressive is the fact that the particular study in question was made by noted economist Gary Wolfman, Ph.D. What a noted economist is, as compared to a non-noted one, I have no idea; I am not known for hanging out with economists, noted or not. I do, however, happen to be personal friends with a man who is the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of a well known national corporation, and I will ask him what the difference is. It is my guess that he will tell me that all that means is that Mr. Wolfman stayed in a Holiday Inn Express recently.

At any rate, this particular press release went on to inform me of the following interesting tidbits to prove its point:

- Michigan International Speedway generates more than $400 million in total economic activity, with more than $260 million of that in direct economic benefit.

- MIS employs more than 5,000 people at its events, generating an annual payroll of about $5 million.

- The speedway’s capital investment projects of $66 million between 2000 and 2006 added an average of $9.5 million annually to the state’s economy. Another $10 million in upgrades has begun for 2008.

- Michigan International Speedway annually pays $2.1 million in property taxes.

It went on to compare that the Super Bowl, held in 2006, only generated about $302 million for the local economy.

Now, my faithful readers, let’s take a minute to take a breath here. Despite the facts that have already been presented, what is the major problem with NASCAR's argument?

Still can't see it? (If you can’t, you must be one of those people in need of immunizations before heading to the track).

Well, here’s your answer: The Super Bowl has only been held in the Detroit area twice in its 42-year history!

Excuse me if I am wrong, but isn't there TWO races a year at MIS?

Super Bowl XVI (that’s 16) was held in 1981 in Pontiac, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit), and Super Bowl XLII (that’s 42), in 2006 was held in Ford Field, also a suburb of Detroit.

Are you with me yet? Do you see where I'm going with this? You should if you have half a brain…

NASCAR runs two races a year at MIS!! Of course there is more of an economic impact! The Super Bowl has been in the area only twice since I have been alive!

Many people who will read this will write in and say something to the effect that it must hurt to hate NASCAR this much, and that I need professional help.

Yes, I need professional help, but that is beside the point. If you want to believe that NASCAR is so much ahead of the NFL, why does the France family go out of their way so much to convince you?

It is often said that I hate NASCAR. That is NOT the truth. What I hate is some entity trying to tell you what to believe. You cannot compare apples to oranges. Why doesn't the speedway come right out and compare themselves with the Detroit Lions and the NFL in general?

Is NASCAR afraid that they cannot beat the Detroit Lions? Granted, the Lions are not your premier team in football, but as much as I like stock car racing, I'd bet my bottom dollar that the Lions have impacted the Detroit economy more than NASCAR ever will!

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

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10/18/2007 11:11 AM

I can’t believe you still pay even the slightest attention to what Ramsey and the rest of the nascar pr dept. have to say . They have discovered that the lies they tell go unquestioned by many people , and so they feel they can make any ridiculous claim and get away with it . And when they are called on something, they simply pretend not to hear and go along as usual .

10/18/2007 02:03 PM

NASCAR uses more smoke and mirrors than what political candicates throw out there for voters to gag on.

So that means NASCAR only generating $200 million per race versus $302 million for the Super Bowl. Doesn’t take a math wiz to figure that one out.

I’d be curious to see how much revenue was generated from each race that was run the same year the Super Bowl was held in Detroit. Any bets neither race came close to what the Super Bowl pulled in?

And if you want to look at overall revenue, the Lions have been generating revenue there for quite a while. Does NASCAR even come close? I don’t think so.

Good job Jeff on showing the Emperor still has no clothes.


Contact Jeff Meyer

Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:

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Want to know more about Jeff Meyer or view his complete article archives? Then hop on over to his archive and bio page.