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Old 09-07-2017, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC
5,754 posts, read 4,228,195 times
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I'll preface this by saying that I've never been a huge fan of NASCAR, but I have enjoyed watching the races when I've made a point to sit down and watch. I grew up around Martinsville, VA, so naturally, 90% of folks there are going to be NASCAR fans since they have a NASCAR race track and that's about the only thing left in Martinsville. Anyway, I haven't kept up with the popularity of it, but one would think that the popularity may have waned a bit with the retirements of guys like Dale, jr and Jeff Gordon. I know I've heard some folks say that rule changes may have hurt the sport as well. What's your take on this? Is NASCAR still as big as it seems to have been in the recent past, or has it taken a dip?
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
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The boosters will still point to the fact that NASCAR is solidly #2 behind the NFL in terms of ratings and attendance, but the truth is it's been in serious decline for over a decade.

Back in the late 80s Talladega would draw 125,000-130,000 for races. At NASCAR's peak it was closer to 175k, but now the official seating capacity there is 80k. Daytona recently removed 40% of their seats. Altogether tracks have cumulatively removed hundreds of thousands of unsold seats. Of course the company line is that "NASCAR overbuilt," but most of these "overbuilt" tracks were at or very near capacity in the late 90s.

Ratings have also been way more down than up since 2000.

At this point the TV contracts are the main thing propping NASCAR up, but that revenue stream is likely to shrink considerably if NASCAR can't fix the ratings and attendance decline they're in. If that happens there's a very real possibility that NASCAR will be forced to trim their schedule(s) and/or switch to PPV and paid streaming (which, I think, would further erode their viewership).
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC
5,754 posts, read 4,228,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluescreen73 View Post
The boosters will still point to the fact that NASCAR is solidly #2 behind the NFL in terms of ratings and attendance, but the truth is it's been in serious decline for over a decade.

Back in the late 80s Talladega would draw 125,000-130,000 for races. At NASCAR's peak it was closer to 175k, but now the official seating capacity there is 80k. Daytona recently removed 40% of their seats. Altogether tracks have cumulatively removed hundreds of thousands of unsold seats. Of course the company line is that "NASCAR overbuilt," but most of these "overbuilt" tracks were at or very near capacity in the late 90s.

Ratings have also been way more down than up since 2000.

At this point the TV contracts are the main thing propping NASCAR up, but that revenue stream is likely to shrink considerably if NASCAR can't fix the ratings and attendance decline they're in. If that happens there's a very real possibility that NASCAR will be forced to trim their schedule(s) and/or switch to PPV and paid streaming (which, I think, would further erode their viewership).
So, what is causing the decline exactly? Is it change in the points system or rules? Or, is it that some of the big household names in NASCAR have retired? I have to admit, NASCAR without the name "Earnhardt" just seems really odd to me. But, I guess people could have said the same thing with "Petty" or "Wallace", or "Waltrip".
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Baker City, Oregon
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Originally Posted by skinsguy37 View Post
So, what is causing the decline exactly? ....
Much of it is just the general loss of interest in automobiles ...... racing included ...... in the United States. It's happening to other series, also.

With self driving cars and other things the loss of interest will get worse.
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Island of Misfit Toys
5,066 posts, read 2,184,300 times
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All kinds of things caused it. The ones you mention, the cars which are basically spec so boring, over expansion in 90s, rules that stifle teams and lead to boring racing, people have fallen out of love with cars, and tons more. It's the perfect storm of reasons that add up to lower interest.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
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Also throw in stupid gimmicks (lucky dogs, green-white-checker finishes, double file restarts), the contrived Chase and the yearly rule changes that go with it, the "Car of Tomorrow" debacle, plastic drivers with no personality, abandonment of the sport's southern roots, races that are too long with too little action up front, a schedule that is too long, expansion for the sake of expansion (Fontana, Kansas, Vegas, adding a second race to Phoenix, Texas, and Kansas (2018)), terrible TV coverage (7-10 minutes of racing followed by 3+ minutes of commercials, wall-to-wall Mikey Waltrip *barf*).
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC
5,754 posts, read 4,228,195 times
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Classic case of why certain sports tend to have a "sweet spot" when it comes to coverage and length of seasons. It does seem as if NASCAR racing is on almost year 'round. I mean, tennis is being played all year 'round, but a lot of people don't even get interested in it until the major grand slams come on. I would probably agree about the personalities. Back in the day, you had personalities that would often clash, but you knew who these jokers were when they come to town. While I might recognize Tony Stewart or Jeff Gordon, I wouldn't recognize most of the racers today if they were standing right next to me.

The idea that people are less interested about cars is very intriguing to me. Maybe it's a southern thing, I don't know, but even though I'm not a huge NASCAR fan, I love cars. I love muscle cars. I love fast cars. I don't know if people are generally losing interest over automobiles. I think there's still a love for fast cars. Heck, just go out on the local interstate and see how people are always trying to race each other to get first. I think there's definitely still plenty of interest in automobiles, but I think it's gotten too saturated.
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Baker City, Oregon
3,683 posts, read 5,846,298 times
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It's amazing how NASCAR has evolved:

I'm old enough to remember when Tom Wolfe wrote the article about Junior Johnson that introduced NASCAR to the world outside the South. It was a very important event in the history of NASCAR. It put it on the map. It was the also the first time most Northerners had heard Southern expressions such as “good old boy.”

A year after the article I flew down from Illinois to attend the Daytona 500.

Road and Track had an article about the 50th anniversary. :

In 1965, journalist Tom Wolfe was deployed to South Carolina to illustrate for his sophisticated New York overlords what this whole "stock car racing thing was." Wolfe, being a sharp-dressed Man Of The People, sought out Junior Johnson, the 1960 Daytona 500 champion and the winningest stock-car driver at the time. …............
…............Johnson turned to Esquire writer Mark Warren. "He done more for me than anybody," he said. "He done more for NASCAR than anybody."


The whole R&T article: Tom Wolfe Revisits NASCAR Legend Junior Johnson. Yes!

The whole Tom Wolfe essay, great reading:
https://robersonenglish4.wikispaces....or+Johnson.pdf
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Amelia Island
2,977 posts, read 3,956,584 times
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You have most likely have seen my comments on this subject before, but in a nutshell I am a metals trades instructor in the south and I get a new batch of young early to mid twenties apprentices each year for the past twenty years and they have no interest in NASCAR, I mean zero. Now in the late nineties that was what they and my peers would talk about leading into the weekend and on Mondays. Very rarely do I see any NASCAR gear on anyone anymore.

Secondly, these kids have no mechanical skills what so ever.........I do not think they ever wrenched on bikes, lawn mowers, mini bikes and cars like our generation did. They have no interest in obtaining tools like we did. They think the adjustable is the end all be all. Maybe if they had an interest in cars and wrenching on them it would lead to an interest in racing.

Third......sponsorship and those big corporations NASCAR is looking to support the cup are quickly disappearing.

Fourth, yeah I think all these gimmicks are killing the sport.....pit penalties, segment racing, different track grips, multiple tire failures at different tracks and the surgical like inspections of the cars are making them generically vanilla.

My three cents

Currently hunkered down waiting for that b$tch Irma
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Old 09-10-2017, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Sale Creek, TN
3,968 posts, read 3,632,971 times
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Drivers that have no personality.
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