by Michael Lowrey
Big money, courtesy of NBC. While NASCAR attendance is down, and ratings aren’t what they once were, the sport continues to attract male viewers, which has value to advertisers, especially as the entertainment market continues to splinter. And NBC wanted to make a splash.
But what about that attendance problem? The solution, writes Mike Mulhern, is to reduce the number of seats at tracks… and ask for public money along the way.
This new Daytona project, dubbed Daytona Rising, by marketers, could get some ‘public incentives,’ like other big time sports get, if ISC officials can work things out with state officials. The first attempt at that didn’t get far. But ISC men say they’re not giving up.
The ‘new’ Daytona includes widening 18-seats to 20 inches or more. When completed, this track would have only 101,000 seats, instead of the 168,000. Also included, a major upgrade in restrooms; currently restrooms here have 812 fixtures, and the new plan would increase that to nearly 1,900.
Reducing seating could help track promoters in two ways.
First, by creating what ISC people are calling ‘a sense of urgency’ about buying tickets, to get fans to buy earlier….reducing the effects of forecasts of bad weather.
Second, by taking the sport back to the days when fans had to buy a Saturday ticket too to be able to buy a ticket to Sunday’s Cup race; that would help pump up crowds for the Nationwide and Truck series.
ISC men says the sooner this sport can start selling out Cup events again, the easier it will be to promote Nationwide and Truck.