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Even if Bristol is not a sellout, more paying fans may be in stands

Staff Report • Mar 18, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Even if Bristol Motor Speedway's streak of 53 Sprint Cup sellouts ends on Sunday, there might be more paying fans in the 160,000-seat grandstands than last year, reports USA Today.

While more than 90 percent of fans kept their season tickets, the renewal rates were down significantly for corporations, which had accounted for roughly 20% of grandstand sales in the past.

That means several thousand individual tickets were put back in circulation for paying fans.

"There'll be a whole lot of new people here because when corporations returned tickets they went into the hands of fans, and that's not a bad thing," said Jeff Byrd, track president.

"It's companies cutting back in a difficult economy," says Byrd, adding that corporate hospitality sales were off a little bit but Bristol's 197 skyboxes remained full. "We put those tickets on sale for fans and tried to add as much value as possible."

Byrd says less than 1 percent of tickets remain. He anticipates announcing a sellout, possibly as early as Thursday.

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