Over at sister blog The Meck Deck, Mike Lowrey posts a Wall Street Journal story about museums that fail to live up to attendance expectations — including the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Read below the incredible comments from the CEO of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority?
For the Nascar Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., projected visitor counts were based largely on sources in the amusement-park industry, rather than other sports halls of fame. Adding to the confusion, there were two competing forecasts. One, presented during the competition to land the deal, was 400,000 a year. The provenance of the other, 800,000, is more mysterious.
“Where did we get to that number? I’m not really sure,” said Tom Murray, chief executive of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which operates the Hall of Fame. He joined the CRVA after the Hall of Fame was built. One possibility: People confused the venue’s annual capacity with its projected visitor count.
The 400,000 number wasn’t too far off the 275,000 who visited the hall in its first year, Mr. Murray said, given that overall visits to Charlotte fell 15% between when the forecast was made and when the hall opened. However, “800,000 clearly didn’t happen.”
Sorry, folks, but 275,000 is WAY BELOW 400,000. And that 800K? You be the judge.