Where were the Fans?

On Sunday afternoon the NASCAR Nation was treated to an exciting race in Bristol,TN. As I watched the race unfold I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful stadium was only half full…This track, commonly referred to as “The Bull Ring”, consistently offers some of the most exciting racing on the NASCAR circuit. The drivers all love the track.  The stadium is normally full to the brim.  The racing is bump and grind and all of this held true on Sunday.  We were treated again to an exciting and typicalBristolrace with another down to the wire finish.  The only thing missing were the fans.  Where were the fans?

Being the grandstands looked half empty made me wonder; is NASCAR losing fans? I don’t think so.  It may be the economic downturn is affecting people’s lives in a bigger fashion than NASCAR and the fans realize. While tickets to a race are some of the most affordable of all sporting events, there is a lot more involved with a NASCAR race weekend than with most sports. There is travel cost, camping or lodging costs and then there are always the souvenir and food costs. For the average family of 4, this could turn into a tough financial proposition.  For the diehard fans who travel to multiple races, the cost involved could be something that may change the way they travel. Especially with gas prices headed to $5 a gallon.

Hopefully this isn’t a permanent trend with fans. We will see as the numerous races left throughout the season come to pass. There are too many tracks which have lost races because of poor attendance over the last few years. My hope would be the promoters, NASCAR and track owners won’t start looking at attendance and start taking races away from other quality tracks.  In today’s economy some adjustments are going to have to be made.  It is getting to a point where it is hard for a family to attend a race weekend due to rising costs.

I don’t have a solution, but I can sure recognize there is a serious problem brewing when you see all those empty seats.  What a shame.

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