Dover Motorsports reports lower earnings as cost of removing seats hits bottom line

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The removal of grandstands at Dover International Speedway contributed to lower fourth quarter and full year results for 2019 for Dover Motorsports. 

Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2019  were $20,794,000 compared to $20,751,000 in the fourth quarter of 2018.  Held during the fourth quarter was one of the track’s two NASCAR weekends. 

Operating results for the  fall 2019 race weekend on the “Monster Mile”  were comparable with last year. Higher broadcast and sponsorship revenue was offset by lower admissions revenue and bigger driver  purses.

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Depreciation expense in the fourth quarter of 2019 increased to $1,097,000 from $789,000 in the fourth quarter of 2018. The increase is due to our decision during the third quarter to remove additional grandstand seats after the  2019 race season. That changed the estimated useful lives of the impacted assets resulting in $293,000 of accelerated depreciation expense in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Dover  incurred $1,170,000 in costs related to the removal of the grandstands during the fourth quarter of 2019. The total cost of removal is estimated to be approximately $1.5 million.

The track has removed about half of its seats in recent years as NASCAR attendance dropped.

Attendance declines have continued throughout the circuit that saw boom times in the 1990s. Factors range from the retirement of big name drivers to an aging blue collar  fan base that was  hard hit  by a deep recession and a sluggish recovery.

Dover has responded with added amenities for race-goers and ticket packages.  The track is also adding a new garage area.

Net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2019 were $2,903,000, compared to $4,072,000 in the fourth quarter of 2018. Adusted net earnings for the fourth quarter, adjusted for the aforementioned items, were $3,958,000 in 2019 compared to $4,072,000 in 2018.

As of December 31, 2019, the Company had no outstanding indebtedness and approximately $7.6 million in available cash.

Dover Motorsports, Inc. operates Dover International Speedway and Nashville Superspeedway. The Nashville track does not host NASCAR events. The company also earns revenue from June’s Firefly Music Festival, held on its property in north Dover.

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