Will free tickets tempt you to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame?

Jay Busbee

Interested in visiting the NASCAR Hall of Fame but wondering about the $19.95 admission price? Well, how does "free" sound to you, pal?

Seeking to get a boost and bring in some visitors who might not otherwise check out the Hall, admission prices have been cut to zero for seven days, starting this coming Saturday. As the Charlotte Observer notes, during the Hall's "Open House," running from 4-6 p.m. each day, you can show up and wander around the joint without paying a nickel.

The Hall, like so much else in NASCAR of late, has suffered in the current depressed economy. Initial projections of 800,000 for the first year have proven to be, shall we say, a little optimistic, and the Hall has announced that it will cut nearly $5 million in 2011 from its operating budget. Even with those cuts, the Hall could potentially lose up to $1.3 million. The Hall is owned by the city of Charlotte.

It's not like there isn't anything to see at the Hall; the exhibits range from NASCAR's earliest moments right up to the present day. But for whatever reason, it hasn't drawn visitors in the numbers it had hoped. November attendance was 20,544, or about the size of your average Dale Earnhardt Jr. autograph session. (That's a hint.)