Empty Seats In The Grandstands, What Is The Answer NASCAR?

by Becky Davidson On Tue, Oct. 15, 2013

Photo Credit: David Yeazell
Photo Credit: David Yeazell

It is sad, especially to the fans of the Winston Cup Era, which is not that many years ago, that remember when the grandstands use to be full for most of the NASCAR races.

I remember when you could not get a ticket for a Bristol race, whether it was the spring or night race.  Only if you paid a arm and a leg through a ticket broker, paying triple the value. But I am also happy a lot of these crooked businesses have been put out of business. Why pay the big mega bucks when you can pack up and drive or fly into any race and walk up to the ticket window and buy at the track price?

Many tracks have lowered ticket prices or weekend deals, especially if they are hosting Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, with the icing on the cake if they were hosting the Camping World Trucks Series also, yet we still see the stands getting more and more empty each season.  You have to admit that the tracks are trying to bring the fans back and fill the stands.

That’s just my opinion and I am sure many people might not agree with me. I have always been very blessed that my tickets have been free, but for anyone that has to pay for a hotel/motel room, they know they have never lowered the room rates, doubling and some places even triple the normal room rates.  Then add your meals to this for a weekend and it costs a fortune.

As I wrote in a commentary many years ago, when families or friends buy tickets and pay for airfare and/or gas for their cars or car rentals, if they fly into a race, and a weekend of food, they can’t afford paying these high dollar room rates. But it looks like that is never going to change. It is not the local people who own these hotels/motels, no more Mom and Pops places.

What is the answer Mr. France? What has went wrong since back in the day, which is not that long ago? Not everyone is as fortunate as me, but would they fill these empty seats if they were? No and right now neither would I. Free tickets are great but the other expenses are horrible for a family or even a group of friends.

The Chase is going on and if you are a Matt Kenseth or Jimmie Johnson fan, you might be excited.  But I am sure you are excited on race weekends sitting back in your recliner with your remote in your hand. It saves lots of money, but that has taken the enjoyment out of going to the races.

What is the answer NASCAR?  What happened when we had people willing to pay any amount of money to buy a ticket and fill those stands like the good ole days of the Winston Cup Era?  Something has went wrong.  It’s no wonder that the drivers are having such a tough time getting sponsors with empty seats. Its cheaper to just stick an advertisement on TV then on the hood of a car.

Talladega is coming up this weekend, one of my favorite tracks to visit. I have been there many times over the years and yes, seen it where there was not a empty seat. I was there when Dale Earnhardt Sr. won his last race, the miracle win and there was not a empty seat. We know all know what we see this weekend and that is more empty seats. I love Martinsville and the town and its stores and the people. I am sure empty seats hurt these businesses as when NASCAR comes to town, so does the fans and the money.

Again, this is just my opinion but I have been a fan since back when Rusty Wallace, Dale Earnhardt, Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Labonte, Sterling Marlin, and Ernie Ervin were running in what was the Busch Series.

Things were so much different. There has to be an answer as to why we have these empty seats and its not the situation our country is in right now. I remember when people took their last cent to buy a ticket just to get to see a NASCAR race. Not anymore!

** The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the publisher. All comments other than website related problems need to be directed to the author. (c)SpeedwayMedia.com. **

I live outside of Nashville, TN in the country. I was raised in the country and am still a country girl at heart. I love new country music and classic rock. My favorite country duo will always be Brooks and Dunn. My favorite classic group is Three Dog Night. I love Jimmy Buffett. My first love is NASCAR and I was raised up during the Winston/Busch Era and in my heart, it was the best. That was when a handshake meant more then the million(s) of dollar contracts that are signed in the past few years. I will have to say, my favorite driver of all time will always be Dale Earnhardt SR. I have loved NASCAR racing a long time. I remember when we had NASCAR races when I was young we would go to the old Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville and watched Petty, Marlin, Labo nte and Earnhardt to name only a few race on that track. I am a fan of the Gen 6 car.

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  1. James says:

    NASAR has shot themselves in the foot with all the crap changes they have made. Decline of attendance coincides with the creation of the Chase. Bring back the old points system. Get rid of the stupid car of tomorrow and go back to race cars that had to pass under a template that also fit across the street version. They were not stock cars, but they were the same length and width as the street counterpart. The racing was so much better before the chase for the cup bs.

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