Mar 31, 2014, 8:43 PM EDT
Texas Motor Speedway is trying to make the most of having to share the spotlight with the Final Four this weekend in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
The 1.5-mile oval in Fort Worth had run its spring NASCAR Sprint Cup race on a Saturday night, but opted to shift this year’s Duck Commander 500 to a Sunday afternoon in order to avoid a head-to-head conflict with the National Semifinal games at AT&T Stadium in nearby Arlington; the National Championship will be settled inside the home of the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night.
Looking to capitalize, TMS is attempting to convince employees of the NCAA’s corporate sponsors that are in town for the Final Four to also take in the race with an all-inclusive ticket package for both events, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Additionally, TMS is trying to bring in fans traveling from Connecticut, Wisconsin, Florida, and Kentucky for the games. TMS has a Speedway Motorsports sibling in Kentucky Speedway as a link to those hailing from the Bluegrass State.
“This sets up well,” TMS president/GM Eddie Gossage said to the Star-Telegram. “Florida has two [Sprint Cup] speedways in the state – Daytona and Homestead – so there are lots of race fans there. We have a speedway in Kentucky, so we know those fans.
“Connecticut isn’t big racing territory, so that’s an opportunity. And Wisconsin is particularly exciting because they have lots of avid fans and tons of local short tracks there. We’re going to target those markets and see what we can do.”
While one can argue Gossage’s assertion that Connecticut isn’t “big racing territory” – some of the more notable short tracks in the country, like Stafford, Thompson, and the Waterford Speedbowl, as well as Sprint Cup drivers Joey Logano and Parker Kligerman are from there – you certainly can’t blame him for trying to go for a box-office slam dunk.
“What a great weekend for North Texas to have both going on,” he added. “Of course, we’d rather not have any competition, but it’s an opportunity. We’ll see how it turns out.”