There were many changes at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the past year, but one thing that didn't change was the tremendous impact its NASCAR Weekend had on the Las Vegas economy.  The 2007 event weekend, March 9-11, kept its place as one of the most lucrative on the city's calendar.

For the sixth consecutive year, the state's largest sporting event saw an increase in its economic value on the Las Vegas community. This year's event had an estimated economic impact of more than $198 million.

That represents a slight increase from the $197 million impact from the 2006 NASCAR Weekend, according to figures released by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

"NASCAR Weekend has proven time and again to be an economic boon to Las Vegas and to Nevada," said Las Vegas Motor Speedway general manager Chris Powell. "This event has become one of the most anticipated stops on the NASCAR circuit for hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world. This past year, we had very little additional seating, so to achieve these figures is a testament to the spending power of NASCAR fans."

The highlight of the 2007 event weekend was the debut of the Neon Garage. This new fan-interactive area located in the infield of the superspeedway drew 12,000 fans daily and has become one of the top fan attractions on the NASCAR circuit. The speedway also increased its banking from 12 to 20 degrees to produce more competitive racing, moved its pit road 275 feet closer to the grandstands and constructed a new media center.

The study showed a significant increase in out-of-town visitors. According to the LVCVA, 114,450 people attended the event from outside Southern Nevada. That's a 20.6 percent increase from the 94,875 in 2006.

Figures released earlier this month showed a 3.3 percent increase in passenger traffic at McCarran International Airport in March of 2007 compared to 2006.

"We have race fans from all 50 states and several foreign countries who come here for the NASCAR Weekend," Powell said. "The high visitor count and the strong support we receive from our local fans have made this event one of the most anticipated events for both fans and local merchants. The race fans from out of town are known to enjoy all our great city has to offer. They enjoy the hotels, the shows, the dining and the gambling and have left a positive impression on our community."

The event weekend is estimated to have drawn more than 340,000 people through the gates at the speedway. The events included the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup event, the Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series race, Friday's qualifying day and two nights of USAC racing on the dirt track.

"In terms of its impact on this community, the NASCAR Weekend at LVMS now ranks near the top with many of the major conventions and trade shows that visit Las Vegas every year," Powell said.  "We want to make this event bigger and better each year. It takes a collective effort between the speedway, local government and our business community to maintain that constant growth."

Year  Total expenditures 
2001  $97,163,700  
2002  $121,425,500    
2003  $133,451,000   
2004  $142,673,400   
2005  $167,127,800  
2006  $197,891,200  
2007  $198,077,500   

Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a subsidiary of Speedway Motorsports, a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. In addition to LVMS, the Company owns and operates the following premiere speedways: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Lowe's Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.  The Company provides souvenir merchandising services through its SMI Properties subsidiary, and manufactures and distributes smaller-scale, modified racing cars through its 600 Racing subsidiary. The Company also owns Performance Racing Network (PRN), which broadcasts syndicated motorsports programming to more than 725 stations nationwide including XM Satellite and For more information, visit the Company's website at