Attendance lags behind projections

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The NASCAR Hall of Fame had 30,000 paid visitors in its first 21 days, making it hard to meet its first-year attendance goals.

The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority had estimated 800,000 visitors in the first year. The $195 million facility opened May 11, which was followed quickly by its first induction class ceremony and two weeks of NASCAR racing activities at nearby Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Hall of Fame officials tried to put a positive spin on the attendance figures Friday, saying the feedback they've received on comment cards from May 11-31 has exceeded expectations.

But the hall had expected larger crowds in the first month because of the hype of the opening and the racing events in the city.