Changes at Dover International Speedway Should Leads to Fewer Em - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Changes at Dover International Speedway Should Leads to Fewer Empty Spots in Stands

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - The RV lots around Dover International Speedway are starting to fill up ahead of this weekend's races. How full the stands will be at those races remains to be seen.

Recent changes at the speedway might have an effect.

Big chunks of empty seats has been a common sight in recent years. But this weekend there are likely to be fewer empty spots around the track.

Between the fall race and now, the track has made two major adjustments - added a new safety fence and removed 17,500 seats. Fewer seats should make the stands seem fuller this year.

Track officials called this a "right-sizing" effort. But NASCAR hasn't released attendance numbers at races in three years. So it's hard to know from the outside exactly what the right size is.

As the process to remove seats began, the speedway told WBOC its attendance is in line with the vast majority of other NASCAR tracks.

With his generator rumbling nearby, John Bilinsky relaxed at his camper Wednesday afternoon. He's been coming to Dover for a decade.

"Attendance has definitely been down," he said. "But the fan experience has actually gotten better - because the seats are wider now. There are less people in each row."

That widening effort, which started in 2012, also reduced capacity from 135,000 down to 113,000. This off-season's changes brought the track down to 95,000.

When it comes to putting bodies in those fewer seats, fans point to packages.

"They offer a package deal now - maybe if they enhanced that a little bit, that might help," said Clifton Glenn.

"Dover has been trying to offer different types of packages that are a little bit cheaper," Kathy Geiger said. "It's going to take some time for that to actually go through, um, where people catch on to it and change their minds and come down."

Track officials say they are always adding new promotions and packages to attract more fans.

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