The Attendance Thread

KodiakRusty89

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I don't miss the days of huge waitlists and crammed stadiums/racetracks, but it could be better than it is now.
I've been going to races since the late 1980's and I never remember things being too bad during the actual boom period of the late 90's, early to mid 2000's. I feel those early to mid 90's races were the worst. Tracks were just starting to expand but lacked the infrastructure (restrooms, concession stands, proper parking lots, lot attendants, trams/shuttle buses etc.) to make it work. The road networks around most tracks have improved greatly the last 20 years or so too. In all honesty, given the fact they were getting 140k at Dover, 150k+ at Pocono w/infield, 160k+ a Michigan with the infield, things ran pretty smooth all things considered. The attendance figures for a 5-10 year period were simply absurd. I know in 2000 there was no way the demand would remain forever. NASCAR's attendance was simply so out whack with out major sports. Eventually things would level out. And they did, but more than it should have...

I'd like things to settle in that late 80's, early 90's relm where NASCAR was very much mainstream but still had a bit of unique charm to it. Dover was getting 75k, Pocono 80-100k, Bristol 75k, Richmond 65k, Martinsville 50k, Michigan 80-100k, Talladega and Daytona 100-125k, Charlotte 90-110k etc....
 
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Efisher131

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5BCCB69C-A096-4FAE-B78B-BFB4E1EE9D23.jpeg
So I just tried to buy tickets in turn 1 at Dover for the playoff cup race and it wouldn't allow me to? What gives? Did they remove more seats?
 
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Efisher131

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That sucks if true! I always thought the seats in the turns were the best in the house!! You barely had to move your head to see everything...
High in turn 1 are the best seats in the house. I'll be disappointed if they're gone
 

KodiakRusty89

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Dover has basically become its pre-boom self. This pic has to be from '90-'92. You can see the early stages of the route 1 construction in the background.....

 
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AuzGrams

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I've been going to races since the late 1980's and I never remember things being too bad during the actual boom period of the late 90's, early to mid 2000's. I feel those early to mid 90's races were the worst. Tracks were just starting to expand but lacked the infrastructure (restrooms, concession stands, proper parking lots, lot attendants, trams/shuttle buses etc.) to make it work. The road networks around most tracks have improved greatly the last 20 years or so too. In all honesty, given the fact they were getting 140k at Dover, 150k+ at Pocono w/infield, 160k+ a Michigan with the infield, things ran pretty smooth all things considered. The attendance figures for a 5-10 year period were simply absurd. I know in 2000 there was no way the demand would remain forever. NASCAR's attendance was simply so out whack with out major sports. Eventually things would level out. And they did, but more than it should have...

I'd like things to settle in that late 80's, early 90's relm where NASCAR was very much mainstream but still had a bit of unique charm to it. Dover was getting 75k, Pocono 80-100k, Bristol 75k, Richmond 65k, Martinsville 50k, Michigan 80-100k, Talladega and Daytona 100-125k, Charlotte 90-110k etc....
I started going to races in the mid 2000's since I'm only 26. I remember going to LVMS in 2007 and the racing and atmosphere made up for the fact that it took 2-3 hours to get out of the parking lot for the Busch Series race, and then 4-5 hours for the Cup race. Along with the fact that hotels were beyond expensive & a roach moach hotel was $113 a night.
 

Efisher131

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I investigated the Dover seating. None have been removed but for corner seats you must call the ticket office. That doesn't make much sense to me.
 

AuzGrams

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I am disappointed at the correlation between attendance and the racing that actually happens at Iowa to warrant a Cup race.
 

Turtle84

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I did notice today seemed a packed house today and this weekend cheers during qualifying... Doesn't happen very often anymore
 

KodiakRusty89

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I did notice today seemed a packed house today and this weekend cheers during qualifying... Doesn't happen very often anymore
Definitely wasn't packed but another very respectable crowd at Pocono.

People seem a bit torn on next year. The party is going to be insane but losing the second race weekend sucks. It's two Sunday's during the summer which I and many others have been part of for years/decades. I really hope the track gets its traditional dates back in 2021.
 

AuzGrams

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I like the doubleheader myself but I can see why people are upset about a lost weekend and shorter race distances, etc.
 

Bob

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Definitely wasn't packed but another very respectable crowd at Pocono.

People seem a bit torn on next year. The party is going to be insane but losing the second race weekend sucks. It's two Sunday's during the summer which I and many others have been part of for years/decades. I really hope the track gets its traditional dates back in 2021.
Today seemed average for a Pocono crowd over the last 7 years or so.

My group that goes to Pocono 2 were discussing this today at the race about next year and what we're going to do. We're going to try for Saturday and watch Sunday on TV. Pocono 1 was always a family trip so we're combining everybody into one day. In short, we're going from two races every year to one so they're losing a race by us. I recall in the height of the Gordon-Earnhardt wars sitting for miles on I-80 waiting to get off at Blakeslee, then another slog along 115 for at least another half hour. Today your wheels never stop turning and you roll straight in. I'm not complaining, believe me, but the difference is stark and I think we all know it will never be that way again, but it was a hell of a lot of fun to be a young guy in my late 20's early 30's back then and having seen what that intensity was all about. We were laughing about it today.

I don't know how many times you'd have some jabroni in the stands giving Gordon the standing double-bird every lap when he came around. It was nuts. The lots were nuts, the trip in was too. Oh well, it's still fun.
 

KodiakRusty89

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Today seemed average for a Pocono crowd over the last 7 years or so.

My group that goes to Pocono 2 were discussing this today at the race about next year and what we're going to do. We're going to try for Saturday and watch Sunday on TV. Pocono 1 was always a family trip so we're combining everybody into one day. In short, we're going from two races every year to one so they're losing a race by us. I recall in the height of the Gordon-Earnhardt wars sitting for miles on I-80 waiting to get off at Blakeslee, then another slog along 115 for at least another half hour. Today your wheels never stop turning and you roll straight in. I'm not complaining, believe me, but the difference is stark and I think we all know it will never be that way again, but it was a hell of a lot of fun to be a young guy in my late 20's early 30's back then and having seen what that intensity was all about. We were laughing about it today.

I don't know how many times you'd have some jabroni in the stands giving Gordon the standing double-bird every lap when he came around. It was nuts. The lots were nuts, the trip in was too. Oh well, it's still fun.
Thankfully I'm old enough/been going long enough to remember what it was like back in the day. My first Pocono race was Bobby Allison's last, June 1988, I was 5 years old. I remember when 115 was one way before and after the race. It was absolute chaos. We'd leave the Lehigh Valley (45-60 minutes) at 6 AM for a 12/12:30 start. This is the same time we left for Dover which was 2.5/3 hours away. Back in the late 80s, early 90s there wasn't THAT many seats at Pocono (rather small upper section) but the infield crowds were enormous. Even so the traffic was legendary. I also remember I-80 being backed up for miles during the boom era of the mid 90's through the mid 2000's.

The energy and vibe that existed back then will never be but there still should be some uptick. The crowd today was probably bigger than the one in 1991 but it just didn't feel like it.

I have no idea what I'm going to do next year. I have zero camping gear and even if it did spending a night or two in a tent in late June does not sound appealing. Especially with a bunch of whacked out partiers floating around. I go for the race, not the drinking/party....
 

Bob

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Thankfully I'm old enough/been going long enough to remember what it was like back in the day. My first Pocono race was Bobby Allison's last, June 1988, I was 5 years old. I remember when 115 was one way before and after the race. It was absolute chaos. We'd leave the Lehigh Valley (45-60 minutes) at 6 AM for a 12/12:30 start. This is the same time we left for Dover which was 2.5/3 hours away. Back in the late 80s, early 90s there wasn't THAT many seats at Pocono (rather small upper section) but the infield crowds were enormous. Even so the traffic was legendary. I also remember I-80 being backed up for miles during the boom era of the mid 90's through the mid 2000's.

The energy and vibe that existed back then will never be but there still should be some uptick. The crowd today was probably bigger than the one in 1991 but it just didn't feel like it.

I have no idea what I'm going to do next year. I have zero camping gear and even if it did spending a night or two in a tent in late June does not sound appealing. Especially with a bunch of whacked out partiers floating around. I go for the race, not the drinking/party....
My camping days are pretty much gone too, and the hard partying too. I live a little over two hours from the track so I'm not wasting money on an overpriced hotel and I'm not driving over and back twice in two days. That's the whole thing for me. But if it works for Pocono, fine. A lot of people are all hot for the idea so I hope it works. Nothing but a thing. One race instead of two. Wife's never been to Dover and the Glen is about the same distance as Pocono. There are options.
 

DewChaser988

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I feel like seat removals are a band aid solution and don't solve the biggest problem facing NASCAR Attendance: Hotel costs and oversaturation. Too many tracks have 2nd dates that are underperforming due to lack of demand
 

AuzGrams

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I feel like seat removals are a band aid solution and don't solve the biggest problem facing NASCAR Attendance: Hotel costs and oversaturation. Too many tracks have 2nd dates that are underperforming due to lack of demand
I agree with oversaturation but what's NASCAR gonna do about hotel prices?
 

KodiakRusty89

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I agree with oversaturation but what's NASCAR gonna do about hotel prices?
Must depend on the track. I've gotten nice, cheap(ish) rooms in Roanoke for Martinsville, Cincinnati for Kentucky and Toledo for Michigan.

I know Bristol is tough....
 

Stu Jameson

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I feel like seat removals are a band aid solution and don't solve the biggest problem facing NASCAR Attendance: Hotel costs and oversaturation. Too many tracks have 2nd dates that are underperforming due to lack of demand
Half-empty is the new full. Removing seats changes the narrative. I lived in MS in the '60s and '70s and could get to Atlanta, Talladega, Bristol and Charlotte most race weekends and the lodging costs have been an issue since the early to mid-'70s. The first place I noticed it was Talladega in 74 or 75. Anniston, Birmingham and the few places near Lincoln started quadrupling rates, a trend that began somewhere and caught on and spread, quickly. Same with other sports and large venues that attracted a large traveling audience. Nothing new. Been the norm for over 40 years. Didn't keep those places from having standing room only crowds and selling out most events then and isn't much of a factor today. Even concession prices were inflated back then. Still had to stand in lines 10-12 deep.
 

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One day events could take the sting out of lodging prices.
You could run combo truck/Xfinity races one weekend and a stand alone Cup race
a different weekend. Then approach the hotel Association and ask them if they want to
rethink their gouging tactics.
One other method that I know works is Nascar Books a certain amount of rooms
(in a block) then offers them and tickets as a package.
 

AuzGrams

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One day events could take the sting out of lodging prices.
You could run combo truck/Xfinity races one weekend and a stand alone Cup race
a different weekend. Then approach the hotel Association and ask them if they want to
rethink their gouging tactics.
One other method that I know works is Nascar Books a certain amount of rooms
(in a block) then offers them and tickets as a package.
Not a terrible idea but standalone events are sadly frowned upon anymore.
 

Team Penske

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Not a terrible idea but standalone events are sadly frowned upon anymore.
By Whom? The people who have been in charge of driving Nascar to ruin?
If you can have a fabulous time at an event at reasonable costs, why do you also need to see
a minor race.?
 

AuzGrams

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By Whom? The people who have been in charge of driving Nascar to ruin?
If you can have a fabulous time at an event at reasonable costs, why do you also need to see
a minor race.?
Not just NASCAR but the TV networks, pit crews, and I'm sure some teams aren't a fan of standalones. NASCAR has streamlined travel to cut costs.

And the "minor" races are just as good as the Cup series.
 

DewChaser988

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To clarify what I stated earlier, Oversaturation refers to tracks with 2nd dates that no longer have the ticket demand to justify them having 2 dates. Michigan, Dover, Kansas, Bristol, come to mind as facilities that can't support 2 dates anymore.
 

AuzGrams

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To clarify what I stated earlier, Oversaturation refers to tracks with 2nd dates that no longer have the ticket demand to justify them having 2 dates. Michigan, Dover, Kansas, Bristol, come to mind as facilities that can't support 2 dates anymore.
IMO Dover has done a decent job still bringing fans in compared to other facilities. I think Michigan, Kansas, Bristol could warrant losing one I guess.
 

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While I don't like the idea of only one race at a track, it would seem to make sense if a track and NASCAR is losing money or operating on a thin margin. I suspect that is not always the case and that is why we continue to see two dates at some of these tracks. They are in business to make money and I have to believe they rely on some decent economists to make their decisions.
 

KodiakRusty89

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IMO Dover has done a decent job still bringing fans in compared to other facilities. I think Michigan, Kansas, Bristol could warrant losing one I guess.
Bristol's issue is mostly way too many seats. Shoe it to 100k.....

I can't figure out Michigan. Great sports state, great facility, history, etc. yet they can barely fill 1/2 of the 70k or so seats. If my schedule allows it i might go out next weekend....
 

DIDIT

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Bristol's issue is mostly way too many seats. Shoe it to 100k.....

I can't figure out Michigan. Great sports state, great facility, history, etc. yet they can barely fill 1/2 of the 70k or so seats. If my schedule allows it i might go out next weekend....
I have been to Michigan three times for a cup race. At this point I am not sure I would go back even if they comped my ticket. From the parking, to long lines to buy tickets, entrance and concessions to the mostly boring race it just doesn't work for me.
 

AuzGrams

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Bristol's issue is mostly way too many seats. Shoe it to 100k.....

I can't figure out Michigan. Great sports state, great facility, history, etc. yet they can barely fill 1/2 of the 70k or so seats. If my schedule allows it i might go out next weekend....
I keep hearing the manufacturer excuse but personally Michigan has been boring as hell since the repave.
 

KodiakRusty89

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I keep hearing the manufacturer excuse but personally Michigan has been boring as hell since the repave.
I don't think stages and this current package deal does Michigan any favors. Michigan was always about speed and strategy imo. It's always been a rather "quick" 400 mile event where horsepower, track position, tires and gas mileage were paramount. Now it's pretty much about track position. Still, I think it's a really cool track...
 

AuzGrams

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I don't think stages and this current package deal does Michigan any favors. Michigan was always about speed and strategy imo. It's always been a rather "quick" 400 mile event where horsepower, track position, tires and gas mileage were paramount. Now it's pretty much about track position. Still, I think it's a really cool track...
Cool track, but it's lost a lot of character since you can't rim ride anymore
 

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I think this new package suited Michigan well. The ability to get a tow if you can hang with a guy is pretty neat, similar to what the truck series always is there
 

Efisher131

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Awesome crowd at the Xfinity race at Watkins Glen. Looks 2/3 full in the stands plus all the people standing along fences and whatnot.
 
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