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Empty Seats at NASCAR: It’s Not Rocket Science!

Drafting the Circuits

By: Candice Smith  @Chief187s

 

Empty NASCAR Seats

Brickyard 400 from 2013 Photo: Charlie Nye, Indianapolis Star

Another summer weekend is upon us in the world of NASCAR and racing will occur at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  New England’s race fans get to converge on the centrally located track of their region and delight in all associated when NASCAR comes to town.

For those who cannot attend the live event, television watching of the event will happen. Undoubtedly the comments around social media will revolve around why there are so few people in the seats at yet another NASCAR Sprint Cup event.

I, for one, am tired of those comments.

Look, there are reasons for empty seats at these stadiums and, unlike the haters the sport has, it’s not lack of a good product.

NASCAR is still a very popular and well-loved sport. It still has its rabid and loyal fans who tune in week in and week out to watch the action.

So, why the empty seats?

It’s no secret – the economy still stinks.

Yes, it’s true. It is simply too expensive for the average NASCAR fan to purchase tickets, drive or fly to the event, stay in lodging, eat, and possibly by a souvenir or two for one weekend’s worth of entertainment.

And that’s if you are one person. If you want to take your family of four – and I have a family of five – you have to raise the amount exponentially for cost.

I want to believe the country is recovering financially, but I know it hasn’t and isn’t going to soon. And this is not just a national problem, it’s a global one. Racing around the world has suffered and continues to suffer.

As somebody who has been fortunate enough to attend races with my family as fans and alone as a media representative, I simply cannot rationalize going right now.

And I am obviously not alone.

Many fans have realized that with greater technology and social media, you no longer need to physically be there to have up-to-the-second coverage.

An HDTV set allows for crisp picture and like-there views.  Big screen TVs creates the setting for immersing oneself into the race. State-of-the-art sound systems produce heart-thumping acoustics that shake the living room.

Now, if they could invent “Smellavision” then the aroma of sweet, pungent gas and burning rubber could transport the viewer completely!

Another fact is that one has all of the creature comforts needed at home. In addition to the fabulous way to watch the race, there are no lines or yucky rest rooms to contend with, just one’s own private one. The kitchen and refrigerator can be fully stocked with tasty treats, cold beverages, and whatever one desires to feast.

Let’s face it, if you have a family or a life, it’s difficult to find time to attend an entire weekend of activities NASCAR puts on when it comes to the closest venue. Many families have children enrolled in myriad activities, and other families are working seven days a week to make ends meet. Who has the time anymore?

True fans make the time and most of them (us) do, but usually by catching it on television.

Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the all-important social media aspect. Nowadays fans follow all of their favorite drivers, crew chiefs, pit crew members, owners, media favorites, et al, on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and any and every other outlet available.

Not only do fans follow their favorites and constantly watch for up-to-the-second updates constantly leading up to, during, and after the race, but they themselves are tweeting, creating new statuses, and the like.

It is a social media world. No longer do people need to be there as long as they have a device that connects them to the event.

I plan to attend more NASCAR races live in the future, both as media and as a fan with my family.  That has to wait until the economy improves and my schedule lightens up – I’m not sure which one of those will happen first!

Until then, I’m just thankful I can still get my NASCAR fix on television, through social media, and from the comfort of my home.

Now, that’s the last I want to hear about empty seats at NASCAR events!

 

63 comments

  1. My husband and I are avid nascar fans, we watch every week. We only live about an hour from Pocono raceway. We just can’t afford to go there. Or any other track for that matter. We are both disabled and struggle just to pay our bills. When I pay the large amount for my tv, I take advantage of it by watching my tv. If tickets and food and things would be cheaper, we would go.

    • It’s just like football if you bump them they just whine nascar drivers aren’t real deal in past just like football players they all whine get paid stupid money that’s why I won’t watch them anymore it’s a slap in face to us regular people

    • There are polital issues all over the United States. . and there will always be mixed opinions regarding politics. I would never stop watching or attending Nascar races for that ridiculous reason. Politics will always be controversial, and and would never interfere with my love for Nascar.

      As far as the polital issue, I would never let politics interfere with my attending or watching Nascar!

    • Where is cnbc? My satellite provider does not include the channel I need to watch now that they switched from fox to nbc.

  2. Problem is it’s all about Danica. NASCAR is driven by what Danica wants.

    • You need to go to the NBC Sports Channel. Can’t tell you where it’s at on your system but it’s out there. It was stupid not to put it on a prime channel.

  3. I at one time had 2 season tickets for Atlanta Motor Speedway but gave them up a few years back. The biggest reason I gave my tickets up was the traffic getting in and out. It was nothing to spend several hours getting out of that track. I still followed NASCAR on TV. Right now I’m not watching NASCAR because of the political issues that came out of nowhere overnight. My intention is to not watch NASCAR for the time being because of NBC and NASCAR’s blatant suppression of 1st amendment rights. I know it’s a drop in the bucket but in the big picture every drop counts.

    • What a dumb comment anybody that follows nascars know that a mid to low tier driver like danica has very little to do with anything that is going on with the sport

  4. Before reading this, I wondered if you would hit the points that I have for not attending races. And, you did!

    Martinsville Speedway is my favorite track. Since my wife was a little girl, my in-laws lived just over the Virginia line from Martinsville Speedway in Eden, NC. I live 225 miles from Martinsville. So, for every race I attended at Martinsville I was fortunate to have a “base camp” at my in-laws house. As of 3 1/2 years ago, instead of my in-laws living 220 miles away from me, they now live 2 miles away from me! Going to Martinsville is not as simple and economical for me as it once was. So, I represent an empty seat at Martinsville, as does my racing partner-in-crime daughter who lives in New Zealand.

  5. and yet you did not mention the lack of winston’s primary sponsorship dollars which was in the 100’s of million’s being poured into this series.!!!!!

  6. I love my Nascar, Darlington and Dover are my favorite tracks. The economy is part if the empty seats, but I am not happy with the France family way to much control in this sport.

  7. The fans have not left NASCAR.NASCAR has left its real fans!!! Boo on nascar

    • Totally agree!!!!!!

    • Been a fan for 40 plus years, ive seen alot in that time and am so grateful for the times ive sat in awe and watched the most harrowing and nail biting races during that time. I think everyone on this thread contributed something that is nothing more than the truth. Nascar is not the same, and may never be the same in our lifetimes. Its gotten away from everything that made it great. Horrible racing, the COT, aerodynamic packages that have failed, cookie cutter tracks, lack of personality from the drivers, taking races and putting them on pay television, destroying Bristol, deserting its old school fan base….these have nothing to do with the economy. The blood is on France Jrs hands, his daddy is probably dizzy from all the turning he does in his grave. I say Tony Stewart for Chairman!!!!

  8. For years I was a huge fan, had season tickets to TMS from 1997 to 2008, but more recently the TV coverage (FOX/ESPN/oldNBC) really sucked, then finances caused the disconnect of cable TV and the SCUM BAG drivers that infiltrated over the years, as well as my greater understanding of what a true “racer” really meant, has soured my appetite for most of NASCAR! They, NASCAR, promotes their SCUM like they are good everyday people, a very few are, most are NOT and NO ONE wants to address this!!! WHY? Because KING BRYAN will Fine your ASS & ban you, since he is the CURRENT FRANCE DICTATOR!!!

  9. Michael 'Bigdog' King

    I never bought into the ‘economy’ thing. Race fans find a way.

    That being said, who wants to spend any money at all on what’s basically become a glorified IROC series, anyway?

    Cookie cutter cars racing on cookie cutter tracks driven by cookie cutter drivers.

    The sport’s become sterile because NA$CAR has regulated all the fun out of it.

    Nope, it’s not the economy, it’s the product, and no one is going to buy a lousy product.

    • Preach it!!!!!

      • I agree there is little difference between the xfinity cup cars and the Sprint Cup cars
        Put the Sprint Cup back like it was, 850hp ,stop throwing phantom caution flags, Even Jeff Gordon has complained!
        Let the big boys race and the races won’t take forever
        I think Smoke said it best, floor the gas pedal and the just won’t go any faster don’t let Frances ruin the whole sport.
        Oh by the way they don’t even have sponsor for next year

        PS: lao time in NH were almost the same between the 2 series

  10. Well if Nascar is serious about getting fans in their seats do like other sports do if it’s not sold out, then black it out on locally andl surrounding areas of television. You want to play with the big boys. Then act like the big boys. How do you think players get million dollar contracts.

  11. If it’s just a ticket price issue then the TV ratings should of stayed the same, or actually gone up. Not tumbling down at worse rates then attendence.

    • Exactly!! Brian France is the sole reason for NASCAR ultimate demise. And that demise IS coming. And with each year that France is still in charge, that demise will come faster and faster. France doesn’t give two craps about the fans anymore. Now it’s all how much money he can make off of it. Case-in-point? The new TV deal. France made his $8 BILLION dollars and now he couldn’t care any less that many, many fans around the country can’t even watch the majority of the races because they are on pay TV and they can’t afford the superior channels.

      TV ratings are down for almost every single race so far this season. If fans were staying home only because they can’t afford the tickets, those TV ratings should be skyrocketing, not plummeting.

    • Right, because the sponsors would love to hear that their logos wont be seen on TVs in the local area. Im sure they would be thrilled about that.

  12. Candice I agree with you !! As an avid NASCAR fan for over 40 years I have been to almost all the tracks some that have gone by the wayside and most of the newer tracks. I was part of a group that had season tickets to Dega & Daytona. I’ve sat in those seats ( or should I say stood in them ). The economy forced us to give up our tickets because we no longer could afford the costs associated. I have been able to enjoy racing with the help of writers such as yourself via articles and social media updates, as well as television. My large screen TV is like being at the track minus the ambiance some rude and some all part of racing. But the empty seats will soon fill once again when the balance is once again returned to The costs of visiting your favorite track. Keep up the great work Candice your article’s provoke positive thinking!

  13. Michael Ben-Dror

    I have to agree with Michael “Bigdog” King, it is not the economy. I used to scrape together money to go, back when I was almost broke. Of course some hotels that try to gouge you don’t help, tripling the price and requiring a 3 night stay. It is the quality of the racing, or should I say lack of quality. The “cookie cutter” tracks are, for the most part, horribly boring. The best races this season were last week at Kentucky, where they actually had to drive the cars, and the road course at Sonoma. I am looking forward to Watkins Glen again. Maybe if they would put a road course in the chase it might help. How about using the full course? I know some years back they said the NASCAR cars couldn’t handle it, but the cars now are different. Of course it probably does not help that I have been a road racer most of my life.

  14. A lot has to do with the economy but NASCAR doesn’t help itself when it turns on it’s base and has done for years because they wanted to reach a bigger audience. The tracks and local lodging would rape you, when I stopped going to Daytona 8 years ago (after having tickets for 20 years), hotels made you pay for 4 days at $200 a day, no matter how many days you were there. To park at the mall across from the track was $30 a day, an on and on. Now that they are banning the confederate flag, watch ratings drop more!!

  15. Candice – You are spot on – Good read and very true – My husband and my sons grew up in the Midwest – racing and the dirt tracks were a huge part of our life – Then moving to the Charlotte area and Nascar haven was a special event for us – BUT –
    The other thing I know to be true in my own family is – I have 6 grandsons who would not pay a dime to see a race or any part of the industry – they are too involved in other activities and athletic events. So given the opportunity to see a pro football or pro baseball game – They will spend their dollars doing that …………… Things change and this is just part of it –

  16. My husband and I used to live less than 2 miles from Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) and we had an RV and season tickets. The camping at PIR was amazing and we would get in line early and camp out the entire time leaving later the day after the race so traffic was clear to home!
    PIR does or did do it right (we have lived in WA state since 2007 & no track here). We had free hot showers in the campground, free daily newspaper delivered to our camps, Basha’s grocery set up a HUGE tent grocery store for shopping, the porta potties were cleaned several times a day so no nastieness.
    I always heard how outrageous other tracks were with fee’s for everything.
    I miss those days, but with the cost of tickets rising and raising 3 grandchildren, we would never be able to afford to attend a race! Still, with all the restrictions any more, the fun is gone!

  17. WHEN DALE SR LEFT US NASCAR WAS NOT THE SAME , THE ONLY THING OUT THERE NOW IS MR FRANCE AND ALL HIS NEW SH IT WITH ALL THE NEW GRRBAGE HE PUT OUT THERE SO THESE GUYS DON,T HAVE A CHANCE TO DO ANY THING BRING BACK OLD TIME RACEING AND THEN WATCH DALE JR COME OUT OF A SHALL YOU NEED TO BRING BACK OLD TIME RACEING THEN WATCH THE STANDS OVER FLOW LIKE THEY USED TO DO MR FRANCE LET DALE JR TELL YOU WHAT YOU NEED TO DO , THEN YOU LISTEN TO HIM , WATCH THE STANDS FILL AGAIN.

  18. NASCAR like all other sports can be expensive, we have been to Major League Baseball at Washington and Baltimore, Professional Hockey at Raleigh, NC, College Football at Duke University, College Football at East Carolina University, College Basketball at Duke, North Carolina and East Carolina University. We have also been to NASCAR races at Martinsville (twice a year), Dover, Richmond, Charlotte, Rockingham, and this year we have tickets to Darlington… The common thread in all of these is the tickets are expensive, but NASCAR is different in the respect that you can put your tickets on a payment plan, which is the way we do it, yes the drive can be a long drive, but in the end, it is worth it… I know there will be a time when as we grow older (we are in our late 50’s ) when we will not be able to drive those distances, so we choose to make things happen now and create memories outside of our living room… We do not let the economy get us down, we work together and we plan…

  19. It may not necessarily be the cost of tickets to get in a race that deters fans, but rather the associated cost of lodging & parking that drives fans away.
    I posted on my FB page, I used to go to NHMS for the Saturday races & Sunday’s Cup Race. (this was about 10 years ago), & stayed at a campground 9 miles from the track.
    Cost of 10×10 cabin on a non-race weekend: $40 a night. Same cabin, race weekend: $100 a night. AND you had to pay for 4 nights AND pay it 1 year in advance.
    So, even though I only needed Saturday night, I had to pay $400 for the entire 4 nights.
    That was the BIGGEST factor for me not attending a race at NHMS. Add to it, sitting in traffic for 3 hours to go 9 miles!

  20. This is all true! The rates area lodging charges on race weekends are double or triple! I’ve been to Daytona and Bristol and stayed in little towns 50 miles away and still had to pay $150-$200 a night,add in ticket prices,food etc and you have a weekend that costs $750 or so. I’m retired and is half of a months social security!

  21. NASCAR has bitten the hand that feeds it! It’s forgotten where it came from and have let the long-time fans down by putting it’s nose into controversal political issues. A sport has no business in politics. I watch and attend races to escape from all the crap of every day. Banning the confederate flag from a knee-jerk reaction rubbed most of it’s fans wrong. Cutting ties with Donald Trump only proves that NASCAR has turned into a liberal cess pool, adding fuel to the fire. NASCAR was founded in Daytona, a southern town; most of the tracks are in the southeast. If I hadn’t already bought my Talladega tickets, I wouldn’t be going this fall. And this fall race will be my last. I am done pouring money into a sport that does not listen to its fans. NASCAR doesn’t want to offend the 1% of its fan base, but in the process, you have offended 99%. You want the stands to fill up? How about sticking to racing and keeping your nose out of issues that don’t involve you.

    • Billie I TOTALLY agree! How in the world can an enterprise such as NASCAR stick its nose into political issues and risk alienating a major portion of its support? B France ticked me off with the most recent episode and, as such, I’m no longer watching the races…and therefore not seeing the ads….and therefore not patronizing the sponsors, etc. etc….

      Add to it the constant tinkering with the rules and other aspects of the sport and it’s gotten more boring week after week.

  22. The economy plays a part somewhat in the empty stands, but the tracks and Brian France play a bigger part in the empty stands. Ever since Brian took over the sport has gone donw hill. NASCAR rules have always been written in the sand of the Daytona beaches and they are subjected to change without notice. But Brian France is completely lost (he is like Obama), he has no idea how to run an organization. The tracks have jacked up the prices so they can give their executives large salaries and larger bonuses but pay minimum wages to the people that help put the show on during race weekend. Racing in itself has become so boring, if you watch the first twenty laps and the last twenty laps that is the most exciting parts of the race. A 400 lap race at CMS give you a lot of quality power nap time. so why spend all that money to go to a race when it is a lot more comfortable napping on your couch in front of your TV. I been going to races since 1959 I say bring back the old rules, Run what you brought, if your fellow driver pisses you off during the race, if you are man enough beat his ass up after the race under the confederate flag. If NASCAR got back to real racing the fans would fill up even in a bad economy. So quit putting all of the blame on the economy put it on Brian (want-to-be-a-leader) France and the management of the tracks.

  23. CASE CLOSED with yet another great article and what you say does shed a little different light on the subject. Guess when it comes right down to the nitty gritty there’s really no “one” thing causing the problem

  24. Your premise seems to be that the reason for the empty seats is that the economy is poor, and people are choosing instead to watch at home. On face, your point seems logical. Where it breaks down is that TV ratings have also declined along with declining track attendance.

  25. I think the worst part is the lodging. We paid 1500.for a weekend lodging in Dover, the regular price of that room was 59. A night. I hate gouging

  26. I took my oldest son to his first NASCAR race at Kentucky last week. We paid $99 for our 2 tickets which included a food voucher(a $16 value at the track). I packed a cooler with drinks and brought some snacks to save money.The track is 4 hours from my house so we left in the morning and I drove home after the race so there was no need to stay in a motel. Overall I only spent $205 for fuel,tickets,and a few souvenirs. My point in this post is while I do blame NASCAR, some of the tracks, and the economy for the empty seats at many NASCAR events Kentucky is doing something right. They didn’t sell out but I would guess they were at least 75% full which was a good size crowd.

  27. I think your perception of NASCAR’s woe’s are very oversimplified.
    Reasons that NASCAR seats are empty:
    1) I spent $160 for two people to see one race.
    2) The concessions are waaaaaaaaaaay to expensive with a 400% markup
    3) The Racer access is limited, so no personal bonding (less loyalty = less desire to spend and go)
    4) Driver personalities have been muted by fines. (less exciting)
    5) Social media has made it easier to watch it on TV (no reason to go to the track)
    6) NASCAR racing is only for the rich now. The days of the independent groups (underdogs) are gone. Everyone loves rooting for an underdog.
    7) NASCAR regulations are so intense now that teams are literally working up to the very last second to pass inspection. (less time to mingle with fans and frustrated teams)
    8) Ever changing rules… frustrated fans are tired of the constant interference
    9) Crashing… Aerodynamics and high tech. engineering have caused severe lift problems, so less racing and more yellow flags.
    10) Severe lift problems are causing a nervousness among the drivers so they aren’t racing, they are existing within the time frame of the race… until the last ten laps.
    11) Tires/fuel… it’s no longer about who races the best anymore. It’s about who can pit at the right time…
    btw… I do love NASCAR… it’s just frastrating

  28. Well mr france how bout not allowing people to show their pride in heritage as a reason people may not be there.i know alot of people and have seen soo many comments about not attending racind due to your decision making in restricting the rights we have.I for one have cancelled all my tickets to the nascar races that we attend and it will stay that way.im tired of big companies like nascar that we pay the high price and its really not worth it anymore,dont get mad and bump back at someone who has put another car against the wall or we will park him for the night.come on we are not at a tee ball game.before long nascar big races will feel the crunch in their pockets and realize we better change but it may be too late.you took the fun away from nascar at bristol by widening the racing groove,i would rather see door banging and bumping to get advancement like we do at our home short track ,i am a big nascar fan and have drove cars on the track even daytona but i would rather fight g or a spot rather than just wait for a few inch extra opening due to a mistake.wake up mr france before more stands are empty.look at the fan base and realize we have rights to fly our flags as we want and pay your high price if we want.

  29. The problem with watching ON TV is first you have to have cable and usually a expensive package. People are tired of just a few teams winning. We all know Hendrix can do no wrong. Tired of hearing about the same drivers. Give me open wheel or Trans Am.

  30. The number 1 reason for empty seats is Brian France is an idiot! He’s done everything possible to run off the true fan who supported the sport (and it’s sponsors) in an attempt to make NASCAR the NFL. He failed miserably! NASCAR’s only hope is that Brian France steps down and let his sister, Lisa France Kennedy, take over. #brianfrancemustgo

  31. its not the money at all…I could go every week if I wanted…the fact that Nascar has been ruined by the current family running the sport…way to many changes..you never know what is next…bring real Nascar back and I am there.

  32. Are u kidding me the seats aint empty because of the economy lmao…. there empty because nascar is a traitor to the south its fans its roots it turned its back on us and your getting showed we turn our backs on you so you went with the money get it from corpriate or your sponsors you showed your fans what u was about now live with it. Politically correct isnt always correct GOD BLESS AMERICA and GOD BLESS THE SOUTH. PrIDE and HERITAGE not RACISM and HATE. Get a grip.

    • Linda, you have it all wrong! Why not split the Country even more with God Bless The South. How about God Bless the whole country as one and you start spreading racism and hate!

  33. I used to watch the races every weekend. Since NASCAR decided to disavow its southern roots and “ban” the Confederate Battle Flag I have not watched a single lap nor do I plan to. My great grandfather was wounded 5 times before he made it back home and I consider this whole issue to be an affront to his memory

  34. Bring real NASCAR back 60s style of showroom roll cage net open exhaust where manufacturer involved not everything same just a manufacturer decal who says every car has to be equal that’s what iroc was for. The sport I watched in 60s trans am same mustangs camaros basically showroom cars saw a recent trans am watched 5 minutes off it went so for me not much auto racing. Same with nhra he is scammers bob Chevy all gone for a knockoff hemi a Donovan or whatever hell it is same frame same engine just decals 60s nhra hot hot now don’t watch

  35. I agree with most of the people who have already posted here, but will add how about our local Saturday night tracks. There gate prices are actually fair as they are double what I paid 30 or 40 years ago. I went a few weeks ago and even here is like a ghost town. Now this is probably due to the fact that the younger generations do not go to the tracks anymore. I brought an 18 year old kid with me when I went and his Mom was on the phone with him texting back and forth because she was worried that a car was going to crash through the wall and catch fence. Kids today are so much attached to their parents by cell phones they have no minds of their own. I have been going to races for many years at local and NEVER has a car come through a catch fence. These are small tracks and these guys really aren’t going 200 MPH like on Super Speedways. Give the kids a chance to breath people or soon there will be no racing at all unless turtle racing is deemed safe enough!

  36. Also only let drive in of the series, have them choose Xfinity or Sprint Cup + 850hp
    Then maybe the Sprint Cup would get some fans back!

  37. News flash. If nascar was smart they should try lowering the prices to make it affordable and put people in the seats. Last time I checked you would still make more money selling a cheaper product and more of it than over inflating prices to a few. I still think the product sucks too. It is probably a combination of the two. Business 101 selling a bad product at an inflated price leads to less market share and limited profit.

  38. It’s not the economy it the cost think about it .Man and wife go to the race tickets 85.00 each hotel rooms go crazy when the race comes to town 150 a night with two night minimum for a dump gas and food next thing you know your out over 500.00 to see a race .That’s why the seats are empty

  39. AND – for my next rant – (you all make great valid points) Still sayin the younger generation will not be at the tracks – its not their cup of tea – and the rest of us are aging in place and ‘yes’ the couch and recliner look better each season – I agree, watch the first 20/40 laps and come back in the house and finish the last 20 – enough for me the way things are run in todays world – Today was another prime example of stupid – Dillon couldn’t talk to the media because Hamlin brushed the side of his car – whoa is me !!!! and Kyle didn’t like something else and pouted his self away from the camera – I cannot even believe that this is what it has come to – They are crying and whining like kindergarten kids instead of grown up men paid well to preform and put on a show – sorry, I said enough !!!!!!!

    • I am losing interest in TV viewing because of the coverage itself. I’m so tired of cameras placed in turns. 95%of views are with cars coming straight at you Can’t see numbers, paint schemes, or logos. Can’t determine who is who nor who is passing who. This view also takes the TV viewer out of the race. Can’t see the bump drafting and has no indication of speed. Viewing from the side solves all those problems.

  40. We go to Bristol every year, but dropped the spring race. Almost dropped the fall after they altered the track and I took at nap during 189 laps of green flag racing lulled to sleep by the sound until my relatives noticed & woke me up. I grew up 30 minutes outside of Richmond and the last time I bought tickets to RIR for the September race for our birthdays, they himhauled around about rain delays and I ended up giving my tickets away so I could catch a flight back to Atlanta. I can be in Talladega in 4 hrs, but after getting stuck trying to get out of Gadsden after a UA graduate class on a race weekend forget it. The mark up is too high on food, souveniors, and hotels is a rip off near the tracks. We booked through my Hilton Honors for the fall Bristol race last year and that clerk at the hotel desk actually tried to charge me a three day stay, luckily I had my confirmation for Hilton showing it was for Saturday only and the rate 1/10th what she was trying to hit me up for. She backed down when I told her to get the manager. Swapping paint and sparks on the turn in 2 is what we go for not listening to engines lulling us to sleep in an endless series of green flag laps. Then this year they are relocating our seats at Bristol for some new design concept between 1 & 2, so depending on how this race in August goes, this maybe our last trip to Bristol.

  41. NASCAR should ask Indy series how hard it is to get back a fan base lost because of greed and inconsideration. Spending $600-1000 to watch a race in person is more than most an afford. We HAD the TV. So now they take that away. NBCSN requires a $40-$59 package and $15 box rental. One way or the other NASCAR wants $600-$1000 from the fans. I will only be able to watch 5 more races this season. I ask myself “” why bother at all””” If NASCAR cared about the core of there fans they would of realized how many of us they alienated with this television deal. I wish they would give me (all of us) a good reason why I (we) should bother following this season or become invested in next year. Are we sapose to watch fox and be greatful NASCAR threw us a few races to enjoy.

  42. Come on, all of these arguments could be made for nfl and ncaa football that continue to sell out every week in cities that . I dropped my Bristol tickets several years ago for three reasons: 1. Traffic – it is a nightmare getting into BMS and even worse getting out. The bad thing is the track could fix or at least greatly improve it by hiring more traffic officers. They would rather spend their money resurfacing (and ruining) a great teack. 2. Parking – not enough track parking puts you in yards, pastures or campgrounds. These folks are more than happy to take your $$$ and direct you into a tiny park for $30 or so. After the race, good luck getting out. The attendant is long gone and you are lucky to move and inch a minute toward the exit. 3. The product – like everything else nascar, BMS tinkered with a great product and screwed it up.

  43. I don’t care what the prices are, that is not why the seats are empty. I guess that’s why the Superbowl was empty cause of ticket prices. I have had tickets before where I had won or couldn’t go and could not give them away. The bottom line is racing is not what it was before. All theses phantom cautions,ridiculous lucky dog awards and follow the leader racing has caused people to lose interest period. The cars are so aerodynamic that whover gets the clean air usually wins. NASCAR has screwed with the cars,rules, point system,rivalries and just about everything else so much that the people who supported NASCAR for years have left and now it’s up to a new generation to support it,good luck.

  44. Patrick McNamara

    For the most part, I completely disagree. This isn’t about the economy.

    The problem NASCAR has is the entertainment value is very poor.

    NFL, MLB, other major sports entertainment outlets are seeing sold out crowds at all-time high prices.

    Why ?? Because their product is good. They have personalities playing in the game.

    NASCAR is boring, its illusion of danger is gone, the racing is gone. Why watch ??

  45. I agree with this report as it is one of the few to point out this fact, I have been a fan since the sixties been to my share but with costs rising and money tight its hard to attend especially Daytona where you can easily drop 3k for 4 days m, i would like to go back but until the economy changes i will enjoy it on tv

  46. The races aren’t that exciting anymore. The race is won or lost in the pits most of the time and who wants to pay good money to watch about of a third of the race ran under cautions. The races were fun to watch years ago, but not so much these days.

  47. ya the economy thats it, whatever makes you feel better.

  48. Yes the economy has to do with it, but I think that is like issue #11. Popular sports teams have no problem selling out easily in this weak economy. I will point this out, if you took the 2014 season of Milwaukee Brewers, they were winning a lot and sold A LOT of tickets. The 2015 the stadium really never peaked (unless it was like a Cubbies or Cardinal game). They had a HORRIBLE 2015 start and fans turned away. Basically what I am saying is the product does have a lot more effect. Yes they suffer from fair weather effects, but NASCAR can’t claim that.

    Top 10 reason why empty seats, in no order.

    1) Schedule is Boring. Almost 1/3rd of the season is on cookie cutter tracks. Not enough short tracks or mile tracks. Not saying all of them suck, but watching a similar race almost 12 times a year is a bit much. At times they get interesting, but once NASCAR sort of stopped the bumping. Fans went the other way.

    2) Taking away North Wilkesboro and Rockingham, Darlington races. Yes too many races in North Carolina, but fans loved those tracks. It provided the racing that people loved to watch in the 70’s to 90’s. Tight racing with bumping.

    3) NASCAR and the need for Commercial cautions aka Phantom Debris cautions. Too many competition cautions. The commercial cautions have ruined NASCAR and fans get sick of it, because NASCAR fixes the races are going to fast. Other sports have TV time out, NASCAR just does this by Commercial cautions.

    4) The Chase: It was properly named the Chase. It chased away fans. With all these fixing events. Yes it has add a lot of drama, but now basically 35 races are useless. This basically allowed Jimmie to go 5 straight and 6 of 8. More on the later half, but NASCAR punishments. Thank you Penske for this, you were the biggest pushed behind this when Kenseth won a championship.

    5) Ruining Bristol: Bristol tickets before that was like Packer tickets. You had to almost win them to get a seat. Now it just fells like a glorified mile half track that you can pass. People loved the bumping and paybacks. They ruined that.

    6) NASCAR favorites: Patrick goes out to harm Gilliand, gets a slap on the wrist. Kenseth does the same to Logano and basically gets a super punishment. In the exact same race. NASCAR doesn’t take enough action to stop this events from happening. When Edwards and Gordon did the same thing and got a slap on the wrist. Other sports can hide this sort of well, but NASCAR does a bad job doing this. Penske boys get away with so much.

    7) Cars SUCK: I don’t care if you can buy a street car version. Other do, but the point is the cars suck. It’s so hard to pass the leader even on newer tires. The aerodynamics suck. I don’t mind the restrictor plate, but NASCAR has basically let the cars be single file with little to no passing. This product really sucks. Back when I was a big fan (not that long ago), tires made a HUGE difference. Now it doesn’t effect it as much. And if tires didn’t work, the BUMP would always work.

    8) Old School Drivers Fading: Back in the day you had to earn your stripe to race hard and generally be a jerk racer. The new generation doesn’t think they have to earn their stripes. And with Big Earnhardt gone, Wallace, Jarrett and now Gordon and Stewart with Kenseth, Johnson and Earnhardt Jr. probably retired by 2020. This new guys just aren’t getting the fan base, partly because of the next issue. Each and everyone of those drivers had to be put in their place. This new drivers are sort of jerks on the track and that drivers fans away.

    9) Too Many Racing In Series Down Under: Nothing ruins a Truck or Busch race when a Cup guy wins it. This was always a problem back in the day, but Cup guys would maybe only 30% of the races. Now it is more akin to 85% of the races that they run in. 1990’s and early 2000’s where fun to watch, because you could see the new upcoming stars. They would win more regularly, even if the Cup guys in it. This is another reason people have left them.

    10) Fans: NASCAR doesn’t listen to the fans very much anymore. Case in point. Harvick actions at Talledaga, people where calling for his head. He got a pass. Kenseth at Martinsville fans wanted a punishment no more than Gordon got when he wrecked Boywer. They super punish him. Plus moving the races to cable drove fans away. The coverage on NBC is horrible and Fox all I hear about how bad Waltrip is. From some of the older fans, NASCAR used to have easier fan access to the drivers. That has sort of left the sport. They just don’t care about their fans and the fans show it up by lack of viewership and attendance. 90% of the fans HATE the Chase, yet NASCAR keeps changing it. All they care about is the $$ from sponsors.

    11) Economy: That’s is the 11th reason and in 11th place.

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