by Brendan M. Lynch | July 01, 2005
America’s fastest growing spectator sport, NASCAR currently is searching for a home city for its new Hall of Fame. Five  finalists Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Daytona Beach, Fla.; Richmond, Va.; and Kansas City, Kan. have submitted competing bids to host the stock car racing shrine.
    The stakes are high: NASCAR has an estimated 75 million fans who spend $1.2 billion annually on NASCAR-licensed merchandise. TV  viewership of the sport has increased by 83 percent since 1995. It is projected that 500,000 aficionados would visit the sport’s hall of fame annually.
    Several contenders have submitted bids with a creative flourish. Charlotte, already home to NASCAR’s corporate headquarters, had police officers deliver its bid enclosed inside a Craftsman toolbox. Kansas City’s offer arrived at NASCAR offices via the official Kansas Speedway pace car.
    The venue, which will feature interactive exhibits, annual induction ceremonies and driver appearances, is expected to open by 2009. NASCAR will name the winning city before the year’s end.