We knew nobody was visiting the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown. We knew they couldn’t pay their loans. Now, we’re learning that sponsors don’t really want any part of it, either.
– Quick recap: The Hall opened in 2010 to great expectations. However, it’s pretty much been a financial bust and it’s in serious debt. The city worked out a deal to pay $5 million back in loans to BOFA and Wells in exchange for the banks writing off $14.1 million in principal and $3.5 million in accrued interest. In addition, NASCAR agreed to waive $3.2 million in royalties.
– Now, another shoe drops: Sponsorships are slated to bring in a meager $110,000, versus $1.5 million in 2012.
— Charlotte Observer (@theobserver) January 28, 2015
– Among the sponsors waving the white flag: Belk, Sunoco & M&M.
– Wells and BOFA were paying $150K each as sponsors. Of course, writing off nearly $18 million in loans means you get those sponsorships for free now.
– In addition, nobody’s buying commemorative bricks that were supposed to rake in money. (But Flight 1549 Captain Chesley Sullenberger got one!)
Go ahead, folks, let it rip
CharlotteObserver.com commenters, always to be counted on for ripping the hall
– “What a joke and a disgrace. Taxpayers got fleeced on this. Someone ought to be held accountable.”
– “not even bothering to stifle my laughter…”
– “Had to have it…….. I D I O T S”
– “Everyone who put taxpayer money on the line for this should be imprisoned.”
– “It’s a wrap. This thing is a goner.”
-“Between Nascar Hall & Chiquita the place is cursed….tear it down. Trolley is the next big loser…then toll lanes…then garbage pickup….”
Curse or really bad forecasting, who knows. NASCAR overall is having a marketing issue, trying to stay relevant in a country that loves its football. Speaking of football, here’s a NASCAR ad that will run during the Super Bowl:
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) January 28, 2015
Photos: Jeff Siner & John D. Simmons / Charlotte Observer & Victory Management Group