The Attendance Thread

Formerjackman

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There won’t be any fans through June 21, and if Monroe County moves from red to yellow soon enough they can race at Pocono without fans. The combined IndyCar/NASCAR Independence Day weekend event looks to be the first with the potential for some sort of live crowd capacity.



Assuming fans are allowed, I will be there, but I sincerely hope they drop the face covering rule. Only a handful of businesses in Indiana ever required it it the first place, and some (Like Menards) not until the worst was already over.
 

Hotrod

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Sunday June 14, 2020 : First fans allowed in a Nascar race during Corona Virus days.
1000 (primarily service families) allowed to attend the Miami Homestead Race.
They endured 3-4 hours of weatherly delays as Denny Hamlin eventually won .
1592258936520.png
 

Hotrod

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Had 5000 allowed to attend the Talladega race on Monday June 22,2020
since it got rained out Sunday. Certainly a watershed moment for NASCAR
during these historical times .


1593343399373.png
 

Efisher131

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I drove by Dover the other day to see that the upper decks are gone. Whose brilliant idea was it to remove those instead of taking more sections off turn 2 and turn 3 where no one ever bought tickets to anyway? My usual sections in the top 5 rows of turn 1 are gone. Makes no sense.
 

HoopsMcCann

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The Silly Season thread had started to become attendance thread 2 and I wanted to answer @Formerjackman on some things but over on this thread.

I agree with you about start times as the later you start races in the afternoon the less attendance you will have. How much less? I don’t know.

In the big picture TV ratings top race attendance as I’m sure potential advertisers look at TV ratings not at how many people showed up at a race. The brickyard gets about 30,000 in the seats but does very well by NASCAR standards in ratings.

Other races like Talladega do well in both attendance and ratings and several tracks don’t do well in either.

Of course tracks want every seat sold but I bet if they had to choose between the tv money or fans they would go with tv money.
 

Charlie Spencer

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In the big picture TV ratings top race attendance as I’m sure potential advertisers look at TV ratings not at how many people showed up at a race. The brickyard gets about 30,000 in the seats but does very well by NASCAR standards in ratings.

Other races like Talladega do well in both attendance and ratings and several tracks don’t do well in either.

Of course tracks want every seat sold but I bet if they had to choose between the tv money or fans they would go with tv money.
I've been wondering if there are economic advantages for some tracks to abandon attendance entirely. Sell off the parking lots and the grandstands; save on the property taxes. Don't bother paying for people to direct traffic in the lots or on the highway, people to check coolers, people to clean restrooms, etc. Keep the infield and RV camping, and turn a handful of luxury boxes over to a vendor for a cut. Reduce the liability insurance for fan injuries.

Obviously a track won't bring in as much money, but what does the ROI look like?
 

HoopsMcCann

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I've been wondering if there are economic advantages for some tracks to abandon attendance entirely. Sell off the parking lots and the grandstands; save on the property taxes. Don't bother paying for people to direct traffic in the lots or on the highway, people to check coolers, people to clean restrooms, etc. Keep the infield and RV camping, and turn a handful of luxury boxes over to a vendor for a cut. Reduce the liability insurance for fan injuries.

Obviously a track won't bring in as much money, but what does the ROI look like?

You know I had not even remotely thought of having fans in the stands from the expense side of things. I’m not sure how far attendance in the stands would need to drop for it not to be worthwhile.

I think that having more doubleheader races might at least be a temporary fix for the low attendance we have seen in the last few years.
 

Charlie Spencer

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Thanks. I haven't read one of these since Acct. 102. I'm not sure what it says that I enjoyed digging through it.

The operating statement on pg 65 shows income from attendance and other event-related income (defined on pg. 91) ran about even with TV income in '18. And it looks like expenses directly related to events and depreciation have run roughly half of the income generated at the tracks themselves. So that makes a good case for continuing to bring people in the gates.

Still, the amount of income from attendance is down 20% over a four-year period, while TV income is up roughly 10%. And these numbers are for SMI as a whole; the numbers could vary radically for the individual tracks.

The Smiths have more experience than I do; I'm not willing to bet on the value of going fanless but I'll gladly wager they've looked at it before and are doing so anew. This year is already serving as a poorly defined experiment on sports management. It may have long-term effects on strategic approaches across the entertainment industry. Say, I wonder if you could make more money by over-selling shares in a track and then folding when you can't get a race date? Strictly an accounting exercise, you understand. ;)
 

HoopsMcCann

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I think SMI has demonstrated several times that the impact on the surrounding area doesn't matter much to them.

The economic impact to the area where fans are attending a race is the ultimate straw man argument in terms of our discussion. Like you I don't think track owners put a high priority on what a race does for an area.
 

StandOnIt

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I think SMI has demonstrated several times that the impact on the surrounding area doesn't matter much to them.
You misunderstood what I said. What I meant was eliminating fans would have an impact economically on the surrounding area. That has been used to motivate cities to build stick n ball stadiums for years.
 

StandOnIt

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The economic impact to the area where fans are attending a race is the ultimate straw man argument in terms of our discussion. Like you I don't think track owners put a high priority on what a race does for an area.
And Skoal didn't need your two cents.
 

StandOnIt

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I was answering Charlie and agreeing with him that you were not on point when it came to what we were discussing.
and your an expert on keeping threads on topic? Sorry bud but IMO any idea to remove fans completely is shortsided at best. Local government and merchants and the hit on the tax base..All in all it's a bad idea.
 

HoopsMcCann

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and your an expert on keeping threads on topic? Sorry bud but IMO any idea to remove fans completely is shortsided at best. Local government and merchants and the hit on the tax base..All in all it's a bad idea.

I think you have brought up valid points and I agree with them. The more people coming to an area to spend money the better.
 

Charlie Spencer

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You misunderstood what I said. What I meant was eliminating fans would have an impact economically on the surrounding area. That has been used to motivate cities to build stick n ball stadiums for years.
I understood you. SMI has shown in Loudon, Rockingham, and North Wilkesboro that it doesn't care how much money the local economy gets. Why should it, when it doesn't depend on local politicians to build its tracks? Indeed, it's abandoned those locales where its tracks had the greatest overall impact on the locals, and where it theoretically would have had the most local influence.

EDIT - I'm definitely not saying it's a good idea. I'm only speculating on the profitability.
 

StandOnIt

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I understood you. SMI has shown in Loudon, Rockingham, and North Wilkesboro that it doesn't care how much money the local economy gets. Why should it, when it doesn't depend on local politicians to build its tracks? Indeed, it's abandoned those locales where its tracks had the greatest overall impact on the locals, and where it theoretically would have had the most local influence.

Oh, and I'm not saying it's a good idea. I'm only speculating on the profitability.
I understood you. SMI has shown in Loudon, Rockingham, and North Wilkesboro that it doesn't care how much money the local economy gets. Why should it, when it doesn't depend on local politicians to build its tracks? Indeed, it's abandoned those locales where its tracks had the greatest overall impact on the locals, and where it theoretically would have had the most local influence.

Oh, and I'm not saying it's a good idea. I'm only speculating on the profitability.
It isn't about SMI caring or not caring. I thought the topic was about removing fans altogether from ALL tracks. Not including the whole economic impact/decline, in other words your missing a few things to consider when fans are removed. Some of these tracks have tax breaks in place for whatever reason. It will never happen anyway but yeah something to do.
 

aunty dive

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Do tracks still need fans?

According to the documents Speedway Motorsports filed with the SEC, they certainly do. In 2018, SMI television broadcast revenues totaled $216,592,000.

Admissions ... $78,332,000 and events related revenue $140,210,000 total $218,542,000. Yes, the “people” revenues carry more cost but still drop dollars to the bottom line.
 

Charlie Spencer

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It isn't about SMI caring or not caring. I thought the topic was about removing fans altogether from ALL tracks.
I've been wondering if there are economic advantages for some tracks to abandon attendance entirely.
And these numbers are for SMI as a whole; the numbers could vary radically for the individual tracks.
Nope, not all at all. I'm speculating only that it may be worthwhile for selected tracks. I'm not even going to attempt to suggest which ones. Again, it's just an economic guessing game on my part.
 

StandOnIt

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Do tracks still need fans?

According to the documents Speedway Motorsports filed with the SEC, they certainly do. In 2018, SMI television broadcast revenues totaled $216,592,000.

Admissions ... $78,332,000 and events related revenue $140,210,000 total $218,542,000. Yes, the “people” revenues carry more cost but still drop dollars to the bottom line.
I would imagine events related revenue would include drinks and food, motorhome parking among other things. I had a friend that dry camped his motorhome in the infield, no electric, sewer or water, for 1600 for three days.
 

aunty dive

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I would imagine events related revenue would include drinks and food, motorhome parking among other things. I had a friend that dry camped his motorhome in the infield, no electric, sewer or water, for 1600 for three days.
Yes. Also includes suite rentals, (valet) parking, catering and bar services for those people. All at high end rates.

These joints were built and are being re-configured to accommodate people.
 

Charlie Spencer

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Do tracks still need fans?

According to the documents Speedway Motorsports filed with the SEC, they certainly do. In 2018, SMI television broadcast revenues totaled $216,592,000.

Admissions ... $78,332,000 and events related revenue $140,210,000 total $218,542,000. Yes, the “people” revenues carry more cost but still drop dollars to the bottom line.
I agree with the numbers but they don't show the breakdown by individual track. Loudon with one Cup race and limited local draws doesn't bring as much money as Las Vegas with two races in a tourist mecca, or Charlotte with three weekends.

Thinking on the subject a little further, I realize it isn't an either / or decision. I think it's more likely one of the two major track owners would do what they've done in the past - close the poorly attended track entirely and move the date to a venue where the research or history demonstrate more people will show up.
 

Charlie Spencer

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I would imagine events related revenue would include drinks and food, motorhome parking among other things. I had a friend that dry camped his motorhome in the infield, no electric, sewer or water, for 1600 for three days.
Correct. It took me a bit to find it but the financial statement defines it on page 91. What caught my eye was that stuff brings in almost twice what ticket sales do.
 

StandOnIt

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Correct. It took me a bit to find it but the financial statement defines it on page 91. What caught my eye was that stuff brings in almost twice what ticket sales do.
I have tried to explain that to the seat counters but they were having none of it. They have been tearing down crappy seating and lining up motorhome parking up against the fences for a while now. It doesn't show well from the recliner seating at home.
 

Charlie Spencer

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I have tried to explain that to the seat counters but they were having none of it. They have been tearing down crappy seating and lining up motorhome parking up against the fences for a while now. It doesn't show well from the recliner seating at home.
I have no doubt SMI and NASCAR will turn a profit this season. It won't be what they've pulled in recent years or be anywhere close to projections, but they will make money. In 2020, that may prove to be more than other sorts and forms of entertainment will be able to say.
 

aunty dive

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It’s better on so many levels with people at the track.

I think “they” know that.
 

rowdy3

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Charlotte had removed more seats. The center frontstretch they removed every other row. They went from 160k to less than 85k.
 
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