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The News Journal (delawareonline), November 4, 2009 article

 

delawareonline.com

 

Business   Wednesday, November 4, 2009


 

Memphis track a drag on Dover's 3Q balance sheet

 

By AARON NATHANS The News Journal November 4, 2009

 

Dover Motorsports Inc. had a third-quarter loss as a result of shutting down its Memphis racetrack, the company said Tuesday.

 

Dover released its earnings this week showing a weaker third quarter than last year.

 

Revenues were $31.1 million during the period, down from $39.8 million in the same quarter a year earlier.
The Dover track promoted two fewer events this year; there was also lower attendance and reduced corporate sponsorships, the company reported.

 

Dover had an agreement with Gulf Coast Entertainment to sell the Memphis Motorsports Park, which it acquired in 1998. But Gulf Coast could not secure financing, Dover reported.


So Dover announced it would not promote any events in Memphis next year, and was ceasing all operations there.


"This was a difficult decision for us, but one that ultimately was dictated by economics," said Denis McGlynn, president and CEO of Dover Motorsports. "For all concerned, including the Memphis community, it is truly sad to see Memphis Motorsports Park taken off the racing schedule."


Timothy Horne, vice president for finance, said the phone is already ringing about potential buyers for the property.


Dover could sell it for other purposes, but, "If someone wants to come in and buy the property as a racetrack and operate it, I think that would be best for everybody," Horne said.


The track had been a good investment at one time, he said. "It's had better days, the economy hasn't always been like it has been today," Horne said.


Dover added a $7.5 million charge to its balance sheet because of shutting down the Memphis track.


As a result, the company showed a $524,000 loss in the third quarter, or one negative cent per diluted share.


On an adjusted basis, Dover made a $4.3 million profit, or 12 cents per diluted share, during the quarter, down from $4.7 million, or 13 cents per share, during the same period last year.


Two NASCAR events, planned for next year at Memphis, have been moved to Dover's other venues.


A Camping World Truck Series race was moved to Nashville Superspeedway on April 2. And the Nationwide Series race was moved to Gateway International Raceway on Oct. 23.


 

Contact Aaron Nathans at 324-2786 or anathans@delawareonline.com.

Gannett Co., Inc.

 

 

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