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International Speedway (NASDAQ:ISCA)

Q2 2011 Earnings Call

July 07, 2011 9:00 am ET

Executives

Daniel Houser - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Senior Vice President and Treasurer

John Saunders - President

Charles Talbert - Director of Investor & Corporate Communications

Lesa Kennedy - Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Analysts

Joseph Hovorka - Raymond James & Associates, Inc.

Michael Walsh - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

Alvin Concepcion - Citigroup Inc

Barry Lucas - Gabelli & Company, Inc.

Operator

Good morning, and welcome to the International Speedway Corp. 2011 Second Quarter Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded Thursday, July 7, 2011.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Charles Talbert, Director of Investor and Corporate Communications for International Speedway. Mr. Talbert, please go ahead.

Charles Talbert

Thank you, operator. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the International Speedway conference call. We're here to discuss the company's results for the second quarter ended May 31, 2011.

With us on this morning's call are Lesa France Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer; John Saunders, President; and Dan Houser, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. After our formal remarks, a question-and-answer period will follow. The operator will instruct you on procedures at that time.

Before we start, I would like to address forward-looking statements that may be addressed on the call. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual future performance, outcomes and results may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements. Please refer to the documents filed by International Speedway with the SEC, specifically the most recent reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q, which identify important risk factors which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in these forward-looking statements.

So with these formalities out of the way, I'll turn the call over to Lesa Kennedy. Lesa?

Lesa Kennedy

Good morning, everyone, and thank you for participating today on the call. Last month, we hosted the inaugural spring Sprint Cup event at our Kansas Speedway and we had a very successful weekend, but it was also the first weekend where you could see on the national broadcast the first-hand progress that we've made on our Hollywood Casino project. What's really striking about the project is the great integration of the casino with the track as it directly overlooks Turn 2 of the Speedway. The casino, which we expect to open in the first quarter of 2012, will have incredible views of the Speedway and will be a great amenity during race weekends.

I'd also like to point out that the Kansas Speedway and the Hollywood Casino will benefit year-round from the overall appeal of the local entertainment zone which surrounds the facility and features many prominent shopping and leisure activities. This area currently attracts over 11 million visitors annually, making it one of the biggest draws in the region. We're confident that this project will create significant value for our shareholders.

Other recent major capital opportunities we've undertaken at our facilities include the track repaving at Daytona, as well as beginning the process at certain other facilities; a state-of-the-art scoring tower, with video screens at Richmond, which provide all areas of the facility fantastic high-resolution graphics and content; and grandstand seating enhancements at numerous tracks. These projects, along with the casino development and the many others, demonstrate our focus on strategic capital deployment that will enhance the guest experience to drive positive long-term results for the company. By delivering unique and memorable guest experiences, attractive pricing options and fantastic racing, I'm confident that ISC, in time, will generate stronger attendance-related revenues as well as bottom line results.

So with that, I'd like to thank you all. I'll turn it over to John Saunders.

John Saunders

Thank you, Lesa, and good morning, everyone. I hope everyone got an opportunity to watch last weekend's Coke Zero 400 and Subway Jalapeno 250 races at Daytona. Perfect weather, strong attendance and thrilling racing made for a great weekend. It was fantastic to see David Ragan pick up his first Sprint Cup victory and to see Danica Patrick lead a race once again in Daytona, proving she can be a force in NASCAR.

Our second quarter and year-to-date financial results are solid and in-line with our expectations. We are seeing bottom line growth year-over-year due to the implementation of strategic cost containment initiatives.

These initiatives included our decision not to host some profitable IndyCar events in 2011. That decision had an impact on this quarter's revenues as the Kansas Speedway IndyCar event was the strongest of the 4 we hosted last year. While we are out of IndyCar this year, we are pleased to announce the return of the series at our Auto Club Speedway facility next fall, 2012. Adding an IndyCar series to Auto Club expands its lineup of events and promotes motorsports in Southern California through the year and confirms our belief that under the right circumstances, we can host profitable events with this series.

The general operating environment continues to remain challenging with attendance-related revenues facing headwinds from the slow economic recovery. That said, we are reiterating our full year financial guidance of total revenues between $635 million and $650 million and non-GAAP earnings to range between $1.60 and $1.80 per diluted share. I would like to point out that this guidance, even on the low end of the range, contemplates a strong increase in EPS and operating margins compared to our 2010 results.

In the first quarter, we were seeing gradual improvement in economic indicators and the consumer confidence index. Heading into the second quarter and similar to last year, the recovery again seems to be losing steam. This trend has again been impacting our retail results.

From a consumer standpoint, we expect commodity prices to factor into future consumer spending plans. However, as the consumer gradually feels better about his or her financial situation, which we saw earlier in the year, we should expect improvement in attendance. And with stronger employment levels, we expect to see a noticeable improvement in the confidence of our consumers and increased discretionary spending.

Our attendance-related revenues continue to be our most significant business risk in the near-term. Advanced ticket sales for our Sprint Cup events remain in the range of approximately 6% and 7% off from last year in units and revenue, respectively. While part of this decline is associated with the timing of renewals and related programs, our fans continue to make purchase decisions closer to the race weekend. While we have consumer initiatives in place, that we are optimistic will extend the sales cycle, we expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future.

We remain encouraged by the level of corporate marketing activity. Our financial guidance contemplates that we will be within a couple of points of our target for the year. We have agreements in place for 94% of our gross marketing partnership revenue target for fiscal 2011, which is slightly ahead of where we were at this point last year.

Highlights from the second quarter include partnership with STP Brands at 7 of our facilities, including event entitlement positions at Kansas and Chicagoland. We announced Budweiser will continue to serve as both the exclusive official beer sponsor of Daytona and the entitlement sponsor of the Budweiser Shootout following a multi-year partnership renewal. As part of the agreement, Budweiser will begin a nonexclusive promotional partnership with Homestead-Miami Speedway next year.

We have secured 34 of our 35 NASCAR Sprint Cup and nationwide entitlements. Talladega Sprint Cup series entitlement does remain open at this time. As it relates to our Staten Island property, the public comment period for the engineering workplan, as well as the modified order on consent and other related documents, ended on April 20. At this point, we expect the Department of Environmental Conversation to allow the property to be filled and remaining environmental remediation to be completed, both of which are necessary precursors for commercial development of the property. However, we do not anticipate filling activities to commence until after we have sold our interests in 380 Development.

As Lesa mentioned, we are making the live experience even more compelling with creative, fan-friendly amenities and seating improvements. NASCAR has also been active in keeping the sport healthy, listening and responding to fans and fan feedback.

The recent changes to the Sprint Cup car and competition are being favorably received by the fans. These positive developments are reflected in the increased television ratings on FOX, which carry the season's first 13 Sprint Cup Series events. NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series averaged a 5.0 final Nielsen rating and 8.6 million viewers over these events, an increase of 4.2% and 9.7%, respectively, from last year. These results are well above the 2010 metrics and comparable to the 2009 ratings and viewership.

After last week's Sprint Cup event in Daytona, viewership is up approximately 10%. And importantly, the 18 to 34-year-old male demographic is up 20% -- 26% from last season. Capitalizing on exciting on-track competition and great storylines, coupled with an improved consumer outlook, we anticipate seeing the fan support that will further grow the sport.

Before I turn it over to Dan, I would like to discuss recent published articles on TV rights agreements. In addition to NASCAR garnering better TV ratings, we are seeing a positive media rights landscape with favorable deals getting completed. We remain encouraged on any future deal for a number of reasons.

Specifically, broadcasters wants sports programming on their networks because live events provide ratings and viewers tend to watch these events live and not DVR them. These are the types of shows that advertisers want to buy. Benefiting NASCAR is that it delivers a sizable audience, the second-largest week in and week out.

Also, NASCAR has overhauled its communication group to create a more integrated marketing and communications function. Part of that overhaul included the addition of a new Vice President of Broadcasting, Steve Herz. He is a seasoned sports network executive who is leading the broadcast negotiating process. He has stated that they are in constant discussion with the broadcast partners. But correctly, he is not publicly addressing the specifics of these conversations.

Also, there has been some discussion from FOX Sports Chairman, David Hill, regarding his desire to see Cup races on the SPEED Channel. This is an important asset to FOX, and rightfully so, we would like to see SPEED increase in promise.

NASCAR can certainly accomplish that with Cup races. Our desire is, as with any of the broadcast partners, to ensure we receive increased promotional support from the networks across their various channels to promote NASCAR to the widest audience possible and to be compensated for delivering a large audience to the network.

An interesting development in cable advertising is for the first time, advertisers are paying as many dollars to book commercials in advance on cable television as they are on broadcast networks, allowing cable outlets to command big increases in their ad rates. We are seeing positive developments in media rights fees, a stronger negotiating team at NASCAR, increased standing of cable, all of which bolsters NASCAR's position.

I will now turn the call over to Dan to discuss the financial performance for the quarter.

Daniel Houser

Thanks, John, and good morning, everyone. We're very pleased to be reporting improved year-over-year results. As John mentioned, our second quarter events, coupled with the cost reduction commitments we delivered, have generated financial results that are in line with our expectations.

Our second quarter results were impacted by the ongoing economic trends which continue to stifle attendance-related, as well as certain corporate partner revenues. Also, comparability was affected by changes in the California and Phoenix race calendars, as well as the IndyCar series event held at Kansas in the second quarter of 2010 which will not be held in fiscal 2011. In addition, a NASCAR Camping World Series Truck event at Kansas, which was held in the second quarter of fiscal 2010, was held in our fiscal 2011 third quarter.

Other factors affecting comparability for our second quarter 2011 results include impairment of long lived assets associated with capital improvement projects, last year's interest rate swap expense and last year's state tax settlements, and to a less extent this year, certain carrying costs associated with our Staten Island property. Similar costs were previously being capitalized. All of these are outlined in the earnings news releases and are included in our GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliation.

Taking a look at the income statement, admissions revenue for the second quarter decreased to $30 million, largely attributable to previously discussed schedule changes at Kansas. Also contributing to the change where the decreases at certain events related to attendance and weighted average ticket prices due to our value pricing initiatives. Partially offsetting these decreases was the previously mentioned timing of events at California and Phoenix. For the quarter, the weighted average ticket price for our Sprint Cup events decreased approximately 4%.

The increase in motorsports-related revenues to $95.4 million was primarily driven by the previously mentioned timing of events, as well as the contracted increase in television broadcast rights. Partially offsetting the increase were the previously mentioned schedule changes at Kansas.

For the quarter, ISC's domestic television broadcast and ancillary rights were $65.8 million, with $63.8 million associated with domestic broadcast contracts and $2 million of ancillary rights.

The decrease in food, beverage and merchandise revenue to $10.6 million was primarily attributable to certain attendance decreases and the schedule changes at Kansas.

Prize and point fund monies and NASCAR sanction fees were $35.3 million, comparable to the same period last year. While there was a slight increase due to the previously mentioned timing of events for Phoenix and California, we experienced a reduction in the overall price and point fees paid for the events held in the period, as well as a decrease from the timing of the Truck Series event at Kansas. Partially offsetting the reduction was the contracted increase in television broadcast rights fees paid to competitors.

Motorsports-related expense decreased to $27.7 million. The decrease was primarily attributable to our cost-containment initiatives focused to enhance margin without negatively impacting our guest experience, as well as the previously mentioned schedule changes at Kansas.

Motorsports-related expenses as a percentage of combined admissions and motorsports-related revenue decreased to approximately 22.1% compared to 25.2% for the same period last year.

Food, beverage and merchandise expense was comparable to the same period of the prior year. The nominal change for the quarter was primarily attributable to increases in food costs and certain costs associated with initiatives to enhance the guest experience for both the consumer and corporate customer. Offsetting these increases was the previously discussed change to the Kansas event schedule.

Food, beverage and merchandise expense as a percentage of food, beverage and merchandise revenue increased to approximately 82.5% as compared to 73.4% for the same period last year. This decreased margin is attributable to certain lower margin non-motorsports events, increased food costs and the enhanced presentations.

General and administrative expense decreased to $24 million for the quarter. The reduction in personnel-related and various other costs driven by our cost-containment initiatives contributed significantly to the decrease. Certain Staten Island carrying costs partially offset the decreases. G&A expenses as a percentage of total revenues decreased to approximately 17.3% as compared to 18.2% for the same period last year. The increased margin during the quarter is due to the cost containment.

The increase in depreciation and amortization expense to $19 million for the quarter was primarily attributable to capital expenditures for our ongoing facility enhancements and related initiatives. Interest income was comparable to the same period of the prior year.

Interest expense was also comparable to last year. A slight decrease primarily due to the lower average balances on our revolving credit facility, partial tender of senior notes due 2014 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 and increased capitalized interest is offset by the interest on the private placement issued in January 2011 and higher interest rates and fees on our new credit facility.

Equity and net loss from equity investments represent certain startup costs for our 50% equity interest in the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway. Our effective income tax rate was approximately 39.2% as compared to 34.7% for the same period last year.

Net income for the 3 months ended May 31, 2011, was $11.9 million or $0.25 per diluted share on approximately 47.8 million shares outstanding. However, when you exclude the equity and net loss from equity investments and certain carrying costs associated with our Staten Island property, we posted earnings of $0.26 per diluted share for the 2011 fiscal second quarter. As described in the release, this is compared to non-GAAP net income for the 2010 second quarter of $0.22 per diluted share.

As for the balance sheet and future liquidity, at May 31, our combined cash and cash equivalents totaled $131 million. Current deferred income was approximately $112 million and shareholders' equity was $1.2 billion. At the end of the quarter, total debt was approximately $288 million, which includes $152 million in senior notes, $63 million in TIF bonds associated with Kansas, $2 million in revenue bonds, $51 million for a loan to construct our headquarters office building and $20 million in borrowings on our line of credit.

As Lesa mentioned, our Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway joint venture is progressing as planned. As of the end of the second quarter, we have funded approximately $59.4 million of the approximately $155 million we estimate to be our share of the capitalized development cost for the project, which is included on our balance sheet as equity investment. In addition, we will continue to incur certain other start-up and related costs through the casino opening, a number of which will be expensed.

As we previously mentioned, it's estimated that the joint venture would generate approximately $50 million in EBITDA in 2013, its first full year of operations. The financial benefit to ISC of our portion of the EBITDA is estimated to be approximately $0.20 per share before the debt service. We currently anticipate funding our balance of the casino with available capacity on our revolver due to the favorable borrowing terms.

During the second quarter, we purchased 325,880 shares of our Class A stock for approximately $9.6 million, bringing the total number of shares purchased from December 2006 through May 2011 to approximately 5.6 million shares. At the end of the quarter, we had approximately $17.2 million in remaining capacity on our $250 million authorization.

As it relates to capital spending, for the 6 months ended May 31, 2011, we spent $25.3 million on capital expenditures, which includes $23.9 million for projects at our existing facilities. The remaining balance was associated with land purchases and additional capitalization for the Staten Island property.

At quarter end, we have approximately $53.6 million in capital projects currently approved for our existing facility. These projects include track repaving at Phoenix, Michigan and Kansas; grandstand seating enhancements and in-field improvements at Michigan, Martinsville, Auto Club and Chicagoland; further grandstand and seating enhancements at Watkins Glen, Richmond and Daytona; improvements at various facilities for expansion of parking, camping capacity and other uses; and a variety of other improvements and renovations to our facilities that enable us to effectively compete with other sports venues for consumer and corporate spending.

As a result of these currently approved projects and the anticipated additional approvals in fiscal 2011, we expect our total 2011 capital expenditures at our existing facilities will be approximately $65 million to $75 million, depending on the timing of certain projects. We review the capital expenditure program periodically and modify it as required to meet our current business needs.

Again, we're pleased to reiterate our full year financial guidance. From a quarterly event standpoint, there have been changes to the schedule that'll have an impact on certain year-over-year results. For the third quarter, we held the inaugural Kansas Sprint Cup event which was realigned from Auto Club. Auto Club's nationwide event was realigned to Chicagoland and held in our fiscal third quarter the same weekend as Kansas.

Chicagoland's 2010 third quarter Sprint Cup and Nationwide event weekend will be moved to our fiscal fourth quarter this year. Also, in last year's third quarter, there were 2 IndyCar events, Watkins Glen and Chicagoland. That will not be held this year. The 2010 fiscal quarter also hosted an IndyCar event at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which too will not be held this year. All in all, remember Q4 is by far our strongest quarter.

In closing, our top priority at ISC is to provide superior, innovative and thrilling guest experiences. To remain true to this vision and compete for the consumer's discretionary dollar with other entertainment options, we must invest in capital enhancements that provide fan-friendly amenities, consistent with consumer expectations. While these enhancements may provide limited short-term returns, we're confident that our focus on improving the event experience will lead to increased consumer and corporate sales in the long run and benefit our shareholders.

Due to careful financial oversight, we are well-positioned to balance the ongoing capital needs of our business, as well as other strategic opportunities, while returning capital to shareholders. We benefit from a solid financial position that we have maintained over the years, which affords us the ability to execute our disciplined capital allocation strategy and to maintain our leadership position in the industry.

With that, I'll turn it back over to the operator who'll lead us through the Q&A portion of the call.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Your first question comes from the line of Greg Badishkanian of Citi.

Alvin Concepcion - Citigroup Inc

This is actually Alvin Concepcion in for Greg. Last quarter, you mentioned you hadn't yet seen a significant impact to attendance or ticket sales from higher gas prices and other commodity pressures. Is that still the case today?

Daniel Houser

Well, I think, Alvin, that we certainly think we had some impact during the second quarter when it spiked up. Probably our Talladega event is one where, number one, there's quite a -- it's a wider radius that we draw fans from there, so fans drive further; and then the other thing is that we have a tremendous amount of camping there. We camp up to 50,000 people there for that event. And so you also then have people driving more gas-hungry type of vehicles on the average when they're traveling a ways. Now also at Kansas, we were impacted by all of that tornado activity. The week leading up to the event, there was a lot of activity and threat from that. So in some ways, it's kind of hard to sort that out. But we think compared to what we saw in Q1 when gas prices started going up, it seemed to have some impact there. We'll see how it goes during the second part of the year. I mean, as John mentioned in his comments, we also, similar to last year, there's a lot of exuberance about the economy picking up in the -- early in the year and then we started getting into the second quarter, late in the second quarter and things seemed to be running out of steam. So we'll see in the general economic picture how much of that are kind of one-time things that you kind of plow through or if it's resilient.

Alvin Concepcion - Citigroup Inc

Great. And can you give us then what you're seeing from the corporate customer, in terms of admission sales and sentiment? And also, currently how significant is that customer as a percentage of your total admissions revenue?

John Saunders

Well, the first part of your question, Alvin, on the corporate side of the business, we're seeing obviously deals are -- we're getting deals done and we're seeing the deals becoming more -- there was a period of time where they were one-year deals and now we're starting to see multi-year come back into the fold. And we're starting to see some low- to mid-single-digit escalators in those terms of those agreements. And as to the second part of your question, what was the second part of your question?

Alvin Concepcion - Citigroup Inc

How significant is the corporate customer as part of your admissions revenue?

Daniel Houser

Well, what I'd say, Greg (sic) [Alvin], is that mix for our sport is not as significant as it is in what you might see in NFL football or NBA-type of thing. Of course, the corporate ticket sales are important to us, but ticket sales are really, that's really driven by the consumer.

Alvin Concepcion - Citigroup Inc

And then final question, I think you previously guided to at least $20 million in cost containment in 2011. Is that still the case? And also can you talk about how much of those savings you've realized in the quarter and also to date?

John Saunders

Well, most of that stuff here is running pretty level through the year. First of all, yes, we expect that we will deliver on that cost containment and that's showing up in improved operating income and EPS year-over-year here. It's going to move pretty steadily through the year because most of the changes, we actually implement it going into the year. So you'll see that kind of continue to show up through the remaining quarters and we expect that we will make good on that commitment.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Tim Conder of Wells Fargo.

Michael Walsh - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

It's Michael Walsh sitting in for Tim. Just had a quick question for you guys. Is there any chance that JV financing could absorb, I guess, the remaining $95 million or so that you're estimating for the Hollywood Casino and the capitalized development cost?

Daniel Houser

Michael, right now, we don't see during a construction period. We've worked with Penn in doing a lot of research on the joint venture level and we just didn't feel that the premium that we would pay for joint venture financing provided the benefit that both of us could achieve by really using our own balance sheets and then putting the equity in. However, I think as we get close to opening the facility or post-opening just from where banks are right now with those type of project financings, you kind of get into a whole another dimension in the banks where they're willing to look at it in a different way and you get into much more appealing price structures. So I think that there's a good possibility that we may eventually do some financing at the joint venture level, either just pre-opening or post-opening at some point. We certainly plan on looking at that. But I don't think that -- we both came pretty solidly to the conclusion that the opportunities we're looking at this point and previously were not attractive.

Michael Walsh - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

Got you, I see. And just one other one, how's capacity running right now versus last year?

John Saunders

We're running, for Sprint Cup, we're running about 89% of capacity versus 81% from 2010.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Your next question comes from the line of Barry Lucas of Gabelli & Co.

Barry Lucas - Gabelli & Company, Inc.

I have a handful here so maybe I'll just ask a question, a couple to John and then come back in queue. But if we start with both capital and operating cost, where would you think maintenance capital spending is as we go out into '12 and '13? Or put another way, is '11 a really reduced level cut back? And where should it be?

Daniel Houser

Well, Barry, I think that you'll see us spending at least at the levels that we're spending now. As I said in my comments, we have 3 track repavings stacked up for one thing, so that really drives your maintenance side. Now having said that, that's certainly something that you can promote against. So we've had great success with that here at Daytona. But I think that you should at least anticipate that we're at that $80 million level. And we continue always to evaluate the overall capital allocation. I think that there can be some real advantages as particularly as we get a little momentum here from the economy or at least stabilization for the consumer, that offering some enhancements to the experience are going to help with the momentum of bringing people back to the track and back to a more, we hope a more robust attendance which with our -- as we've adjusted on the cost side of the business, we have just a fantastic opportunity to really drive earnings to the bottom line.

Barry Lucas - Gabelli & Company, Inc.

And as you think about if we shift from capital to operating and think about cost reductions in fiscal '11, how much of that is sustainable? Or maybe talk about cost creep when you think about budgeting for '12 in the out years.

John Saunders

Yes, I think that, other than inflationary, we're pretty much committed to the costs that we've taken out stay out. That's our approach there. Now I'll also say that there is very little to none of that cost reduction that was any variable cost associated with facilities and with lower attendance levels that's going to increase as people come back there, so very little variable cost. However, the things that I could see us investing operating costs in are things that really make an impact on the guest experience and we're doing with NASCAR and really all stakeholders in the sport, really working at helping to engage the fan when they come to track. Some of these things may be in the technology area where we've got some real opportunities with Wi-Fi connectivity, on-site applications that can touch all consumers and particularly this younger demo that we're trying to engage.

Barry Lucas - Gabelli & Company, Inc.

Okay, that's helpful. Last one, and like I said, then I'll jump back into queue. In the past, you've offered a little bit more color about Staten Island as opposed to potential buyers or demand and what I'm trying to get at, it sounds like you're waiting for the official approval from the DEC here in New York on being able to go ahead with fill, but you're not going to do that until somebody else steps up to the plate. Have I got that right? Or maybe you could sort of flesh out that situation?

John Saunders

What we've gone through, what the process that's actually been completed is the permitting process that allows the property to be commercially developed and we think that is -- we believe that, that was a necessary step to go through to sell the property. We don't anticipate filling that property until we have sold the property. And at the moment, and it -- as it was on the last call, we do have a number of people who are expressing interest, including KB Marine Holdings, and we remain hopeful that we will get a deal done. But the process with the State of New York has been completed.

Daniel Houser

And Barry, just on the whole filling thing, we're interested in selling the property, not filling it. So the good news here with the DEC has now clarified what their requirements are for the type and quality of fill that can be brought on to the property and that makes it then where a buyer can come in and they have some certainty of what type of fill, what are going to be my guidelines for development here, so that's a big positive. But we don't want to develop the property. We don't want to fill the property. We're going to sell the property.

Operator

Next question come

s from the line of Joe Hovorka of Raymond James.

Joseph Hovorka - Raymond James & Associates, Inc.

A couple of questions, can you give a -- what the comparable race attendance was in the quarter year-over-year?

John Saunders

Number of people?

Joseph Hovorka - Raymond James & Associates, Inc.

Yes. Yes, people. I think you gave -- you said the ASP was down 4 for Sprint Cup.

John Saunders

We were on a comp basis about 960,000 in attendance versus just about 1 million for the same period in 2010.

Joseph Hovorka - Raymond James & Associates, Inc.

Okay, that's on the same race basis.

John Saunders

Yes.

Daniel Houser

Yes.

Joseph Hovorka - Raymond James & Associates, Inc.

Okay. And the deferred revenue line actually showed a pretty nice improvement at the end of the quarter versus where it was in the first and the fourth quarters. Is there anything unusual in that number? Or is that just a general improvement in...

Daniel Houser

Well, I could say no, there's improvement there, but also keep in mind that a factor there definitely is that those events that were rescheduled from Auto Club Speedway will be scheduled to the first weekend in June, so you've got some incomparability there that's driving that.

Joseph Hovorka - Raymond James & Associates, Inc.

But you did say your advance ticket sales, I think, were down 6% in units and they were down 10% in units if I recall in the first quarter, correct?

Daniel Houser

Right.

Joseph Hovorka - Raymond James & Associates, Inc.

So things have improved a bit on the advanced ticket side.

Daniel Houser

Yes.

Joseph Hovorka - Raymond James & Associates, Inc.

Okay. And then I think I missed or misheard a comment earlier, you said something about -- were trends slowing towards the end of the second quarter? Or what was that comment? I'm sorry, I missed that.

Daniel Houser

Well, what I think I mainly was talking about the economy in general, in that we seemed in the first quarter you've got the Daytona 500 and Speedweeks, which is somewhat of a unique experience that were very strong. Then in the second quarter as gas prices went up and the economic momentum were going down, we saw some struggles particularly at Talladega, some at Richmond. What I would say, Joe, is that a couple years prior, it just seems like everywhere was kind of across the board. Where we are now, we're seeing certain areas where we're still working very hard to turn the tide, but in many, many cases as well, very positive stabilization and increases. So that's encouraging to us on the consumer side. And it's, again, as John said, we're at about 94% on our corporate target. We've got one cup entitlement left to go which is we cleaned up a bunch of those since the last time we talked to you, so pretty encouraged on that end.

Operator

At this time, there are no further questions. I will now return the call to management for any closing remarks.

John Saunders

Just want to thank everybody for joining us on our second quarter call and we look forward to visiting with you on the third quarter. Once again, thanks, everybody.

Operator

Thank you for participating in today's conference call. You may now disconnect.

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