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Monday, August 17, 2009

Michigan Speedway smart to lower ticket prices

While the crowd of about 100,000 on hand this past Sunday to see the Cup race at Michigan International Speedway was impressive considering the economic woes in Michigan, it’s only logical that the track wants to return to the days where there they were constantly selling out and a ticket was a hard thing to find.

In order to move toward that goal, the track announced this weekend that it will lower the price of all tickets it sells during the renewal and deposit period for every grandstand seat in the 2010 season. Some of the cuts are drastic.

For example, a general admission seat drops almost in half, to $25. Reserved seat will start at $35. Wristband pricing for the track's infield camping guests will drop from $100 to $60 during renewals.

"It is important for us to show our appreciation to all fans, whether this year was their first visit to MIS or they have been coming for 40 years," track President Roger Curtis said. "That is why we lowered prices on all seats -- even the seats that renew at 100 percent. Additionally, we hope these new prices will help fans who were not able to make it this year because of the economy to be able to come back in 2010."

Beyond the simple price drops, the track is also introducing other programs that might help convince area NASCAR fans to come to the track. Youth pricing allows tickets for kids 17-and-younger to be sold for half price in any grandstand seat, making it easier to bring the family. Also, the track will offer payment plans to help fans afford the tickets.

Months ago, I argued for this type of thinking if tracks wanted to fill seats, and I’m glad to see MIS coming through with such a bold initiative. I know it’s never easy for a business to lower its prices, but it can work out in the long run if enough of a boost in fans is generated due to the good publicity such a move creates.

I hope this works out for the speedway, and they get something approaching a sellout at next year’s races.

And if it works for them, maybe the rest of the NASCAR tracks will get in line and realize people don’t have the disposable income they once had.
Whether prices will go back up in 2011 remains to be seen, but the track deserves applause for doing its part in making summer entertainment a little more affordable during a tough time for the state.

Ticket renewal packets will be sent to all current customers in the next few weeks. Fans not renewing can leave a goodwill deposit for 2010 to ensuring they have guaranteed best pricing, by calling (800)354-1010 or logging onto


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