One different thing from NASCAR in the past to NASCAR today is the release of prize money and attendance figures. Sometimes fans will ask for NASCAR to release them to the public once again, so should they? Let’s analyze whether or not NASCAR should release attendance figures to the public once again.
Why Fans May Want NASCAR to Release Attendance Figures.
The main reason is that literally, every other major professional sport releases attendance figures. It’s on every box score on every website that covers the game. If other sports do so, then why shouldn’t NASCAR?
It also gives the fans some information on how the sport is doing. As of right now, it is difficult to tell how attendance was at a particular race. Fans can guess based on how full the stands looked at a particular race, but they cannot know for sure. It’s a good conversation piece for fans, and it is something that all sports do.
When it comes to prize money, NASCAR does release the total prize pool to the media members. However, they do not say specifically how much money goes to which position.
Again, this is more of a curiosity for fans. It also could give the fans some idea of why owning a charter is so important and why so much money is required to race. Then again, it is little more than a curiosity.
Why NASCAR Doesn’t Release Attendance Figures.
NASCAR, like all major companies and sports leagues, cares a lot about its image. Attendance at NASCAR races has gone on a sharp decline from its peak in the early 2000s when more than 100,000 people were routinely showing up to certain races. Now, a sellout is relatively rare, and tracks have torn down grandstands.
If NASCAR were to start releasing attendance figures, the easiest thing for pundits and fans alike to do is to talk about how much NASCAR attendance has declined in recent years. It’s not what it was in recent years, and that is no secret. On top of that, NASCAR has no obligation to release such figures.
They are a private company, and they can release what they want to to the public. It’s the same thing with prize money. They do not need to release their prize money to the public.
It just opens up a lot of conversations that could lead to some messy or bad publicity. Yes, good attendance can be good publicity, but bad attendance can be bad publicity. Also, at the end of the day, how does it really affect the general public?
Releasing specifics on things like the short-track package makes sense because that impacts the racing product, which is what NASCAR fans are most concerned with. NASCAR fans cannot do much with attendance figures because it does not affect them. Prize money only affects the race teams. At the end of the day, it is little more than a conversation starter.
At the end of the day, the question likely could be, what is the point of releasing attendance figures? It does provide interesting context to fans, and every other sport does it. However, does NASCAR see any return from it?