On Friday, November 3rd, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer, Steve O’Donnell, will address the media in the annual “State of the Sport” address. It is an opportunity for NASCAR to publicly give their thoughts on the season, given all of the good, all of the bad, and all of the ugly. What are the topics that NASCAR needs to discuss in this address?
TV Ratings/TV Deal
TV ratings have not always been in NASCAR’s favor this year. However, NASCAR is far from the only sport to be dealing with TV ratings woes in this era of cord-cutting. The next TV deal will have to rectify that in some way, likely through streaming.
The TV deal needs to be in place for the 2025 season, and these deals are often done by now. NASCAR needs to give some sort of a timeline for when that deal will be done and what their goals are. How is NASCAR going to use the next TV deal to counteract the ratings struggles they currently are dealing with?
NASCAR does not release attendance figures anymore, and attendance has long been a marker of different sports’ success. Some races have been obvious successes, with sellouts at places like Martinsville and Nashville. However, races like Las Vegas in the fall seemed to have only a few people in the stands.
Given how attendance seemed to increase after COVID-19, it would be great to hear how attendance is doing now. Seeing full grandstands makes the sport look better than when grandstands are full. What exactly does attendance look like for NASCAR?
The Racing Product at Short Tracks
Martinsville saw some great strides in the racing product last weekend on short tracks. However, NASCAR is going to have another short-track test at Phoenix after the season is over. What will NASCAR be testing at Phoenix, and what do they hope to accomplish?
Will NASCAR find a way to better their short-track product in different ways? What are the types of things they found encouraging, and what is the status of making big swings like increasing horsepower?
Where is the Next OEM?
The main reason NASCAR continues to give about why they will not increase horsepower is to potentially gain a new OEM. There may not be much to report on this month, but NASCAR needs to discuss where they are with talking with OEMs. Are there discussions happening, and it is possible a new OEM could come soon?
NASCAR fans are clambering for more horsepower, and if one of the main reasons why they are not getting it is potentially new OEMs, then it is tough to not see any new OEMs. Hopefully, NASCAR will have more to talk about when it comes to potential OEMs.
How Is NASCAR’s International Reach Going?
After Garage 56 debuted at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, reports started flying that NASCAR was looking to go international. A street race in Chicago showed that NASCAR’s schedule could be more diverse than ever before. NASCAR was rumored to go to Canada in 2024, but that did not end up happening.
Will NASCAR be going international in 2025? Are there actual discussions ongoing with NASCAR heading to places never before considered? It is almost time to see if it actually happens.
Will NASCAR discuss the topics that fans want to hear about? We will have to see when Steve O’Donnell takes the podium.