Did you see the empty seats at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Food City 500 Sunday? Yikes! They.Were. Everywhere. Sure, 165,000 seats make for an enormous venue, but I’d be surprised if attendance was at a third of capacity. It’s a shame, because I actually thought the racing was pretty good. Yes, there was just one groove, but there was passing throughout the pack, and good battles for position throughout the race. But like that preacher who skips church to play golf and gets a hole in one, who’s he going to tell?
It’s a lot of things. Reports abound of price gouging at the hotels. The tickets themselves are a pretty penny too. Old school fans dislike the banking on the track that they say takes away those old classic battles between Earnhardt, Wallace and Waltrip. More from the segment decry the abundance of rule changes, the Chase, the Chase qualification format, and the personality of the sport that is nothing like the days of yore.
That is to say nothing of the Tennessee economy, or heck, the American economy in general, which is really nothing quite like what the politicians report. NASCAR has been and remains a working man’s and woman’s sport. If you’re virtually guaranteed a great racing event, you might tolerate the 300 dollars rooms, the overpriced concessions, and all the other expenses. The problem is, the racing isn’t always great- not even at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The truly frustrating part is the pricing is fixable. You can rest assured of one thing, when it starts hurting NASCAR, when it starts hurting Bruton Smith, when it starts hurting the hotels, you will see a reaction. Yours truly contends if the price is right, and the fan feels as though they are truly appreciated, they will take a chance on Bristol Motor Speedway. This track can be a low risk/high reward scenario IF the price is right, and that is more than just the admission.
If you’ve been one of those fans voting with your wallet by not attending the spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway, your message is certainly becoming clearer to your fellow fans watching at home. It was so clear, even Captain Obvious could see it. One would venture to say as that number grows, the message will become louder.
One can hope. Disturbing is the fact it seems Mr. Magoo is minding the store. It bears watching to see what the numbers at Bristol Motor Speedway look like at the night race.