The NASCAR Hall of Fame today concluded a successful event-filled opening month that included its grand opening, inaugural Induction Ceremony and Food Lion Speed Street all in the first 21 days of business.
Thousands of guests visited the new 150,000 square-foot entertainment venue in uptown Charlotte, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The major themes from anecdotal feedback and official comment cards submitted are that the facility far exceeded expectations and that the amount of activities and displays to see and do is much more than expected.
“The first 21 days of business went remarkably well for the NASCAR Hall of Fame,” said Executive Director Winston Kelley. “After years of work to deliver a first-class attraction to Charlotte, we are thrilled with the initial visitor feedback. I have had so many guests stop me and say that the Hall offers so much more than they ever expected. It really seems to have the wow factor that we were aiming to provide.”
Visitors have the option of submitting a comment card when exiting the building. Some written thoughts about guests’ NASCAR Hall of Fame experience include:
“I never liked NASCAR (un)til I visited this place.” – Kaitlin
“It’s NASCAR HEAVEN!” – Jacky
“What an education! I’ve been a fan for years and still learned a lot today.” – unknown
“So many memories; brought tears to my eyes.” – Linda
“Truly amazing. Just like the sport itself, the Hall of Fame is all about the fans! As a fan growing up in the later era of NASCAR, I have never truly understood the roots of the sport. Thanks to the Hall of Fame, I have an understanding and appreciation for those that built America’s sport.” – William
The feedback from the NASCAR industry has been equally as positive. Championship-owner Rick Hendrick, one of the city leaders who helped Charlotte win the bid for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, visited the facility in May.
“I had no idea it was going to be as magnificent as it is,” said Hendrick. “I had no idea that I would walk into a building with my wife and just couldn’t get enough of it. I wanted to see more of it. I wanted to learn more. I wanted to look at all of the interactive areas and to look at the memorabilia. I am just so proud of our city. I’m proud of our sport. But it is way more than I ever dreamed it could be.”
First Month Summary
• Media Day, May 4 – More than 340 members of the media from local, regional and national news outlets requested credentials for the pre-opening media day.
• Grand Opening Reception, May 10 – More than 500 members of the Charlotte community and NASCAR industry attended a pre-opening reception in the Great Hall.
• Opening Ceremony, May 11 – Approximately 44 NASCAR celebrities and community dignitaries participated in the opening ceremony of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in front of an estimated 1,500-member live audience. The event was live on SPEED and Sirius radio. More than 400 members of the media attended the opening.
• Community Celebration, May 11 – More than 4,500 people entered the NASCAR Hall of Fame on opening day. Outside the venue, hundreds participated in driver autograph sessions, question-and-answer sessions and concerts by Lee Brice, Bomshel, Love And Theft and the 82nd Airborne Chorus.
• Induction Dinner, May 20 – The Inaugural Induction Dinner was held in the Charlotte Convention Center’s Crown Ballroom. More than 1,000 people attended the dinner to honor the first class of inductees.
• Induction Ceremony, May 23 – The Inaugural Induction Ceremony began with “blue carpet” arrivals in front of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Drivers and dignitaries walked from the Ceremonial Plaza, up Glory Road and into the Charlotte Convention Center’s Crown Ballroom. Televised live on SPEED and MRN radio, approx. 2,300 people attended the event to honor the first class of inductees. More than 250 members of the media covered the event.
• The facility was rented 17 times in the first month.
• There were more than 30,000 paid admissions in the first 21 days.
• Tours: The Ultimate Fan Experience tour begins June 14. Guests can spend an entire day traveling to NASCAR-themed attractions in the Charlotte area including the NASCAR Hall of Fame, race shops and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
• Summer activities: In the coming weeks, a series of family activities and holiday events will be announced. The venue also will have extended hours during the summer months.
• Exhibit rotation: Exhibits in the Great Hall change every six months. The Hall of Honor changes yearly. The 18 cars on Glory Road change every two years. Other exhibits and artifacts throughout the facility will change on a regular basis.
• Facility rentals: The NASCAR Hall of Fame features multiple spaces for special events ranging from a 275-seat theater to the entire four-story venue. It is the perfect venue for a small business meeting, birthday party or even a 600-person cocktail reception. Add in the Charlotte Convention Center’s new Crown Ballroom connected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and the venue can accommodate a theater-style event for 4,200 people.
• General admission: The NASCAR Hall of Fame is open seven days a week, 362 days a year. The facility is closed Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tickets are on sale now at www.NASCARHall.com or by calling 877-231-2010. Tickets are $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors (60 and up) and military, $12.95 for children 5-12 and free for children younger than 5.
Located in uptown Charlotte, N.C., the 150,000-square-foot NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive, entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR that opened May 11, 2010. The high-tech venue, designed to educate and entertain race fans and non-fans alike, includes artifacts, interactive exhibits, 275-person state-of-the-art theater, Hall of Honor, Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, NASCAR Hall of Fame Gear Shop and NASCAR Media Group-operated broadcast studio. The five-acre site also includes a privately developed 19-story office tower and 102,000-square-foot expansion to the Charlotte Convention Center, highlighted by a 40,000 square-foot ballroom. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is owned by the City of Charlotte, licensed by NASCAR and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. www.NASCARHall.com