In the heyday of NASCAR, it was catching the NFL in terms of audience. Since that time in the 1990s and early 2000s, many of the tracks have been removing seats.
From 2007 to 2013 ticket revenue for the two main companies which own NASCAR race tracks dropped by $175 million - or roughly 41 per cent.\
International Speedway Corp., which owns 12 major tracks that host NASCAR events had a grandstand capacity of 1.1 million in 2007. After the Daytona renovations this year, the number will be down 30 per cent to 761,000. Five of the main tracks owned by Speedway Motorsports are also tearing out seats. In 2007 they had a capacity of 710,000 and by the end of 2014 that was down to 566,000 - a 20 per cent reduction.
Obtaining exact attendance numbers is virtually impossible as NASCAR stopped releasing the numbers in 2012. So faced with the negative image of empty seats being seen by viewers at home, the racetracks began removing seats.
The map below shows the location of 12 major tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit and the old and new seating capacity for each track. Some tracks we contacted said they don't release capacity numbers, but going through SMI and ICS annual reports from 2007 and 2014 we were able to obtain figures. Many of the tracks have undergone multiple renovations to get to the current number.
Click on each checkered flag to see a photo of each raceway and the number of seats removed:
*Figures for Daytona are for the upcoming 2016 season after track renovations this fall. The seat capacity listed on the 2014 annual report is 147,000.
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