It was bound to happen: NASCAR couldn't grow forever.

Now, as attendance for Sprint Cup Series races falls, NASCAR track owners around the country continue to add things like faster wireless internet services, newer restrooms and big-name concerts before a race to put more fans in the stands.

NASCAR attendance is down 2.4 percent from last year and 8.5 percent from 2009, according to USA Today.

Fans have either abandoned the sport or just opted to watch from the comfort of their own home. Some of the drop has been attributed to the recent economic struggles around the country as well as the rising costs associated with going to a race. Fans have told track owners that everything from the lack of access to drivers to tracks not offering a more family friendly experience has pushed them away.

Owners, in turn, have tried to provide extended pit tours, additional driver appearances and other amenities at the track ranging from better shower houses for campers to shuttles that pick you up at your car and drop you off near you seat.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 39 Comments
      rsholland
      • 2 Years Ago
      Or maybe the race cars are about as close to what customers can buy as a lunar rover. No, make that a John Deere.
        AcidTonic
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rsholland
        This is what my problem is. I can't get in to something that is so removed from what is available to me. I'd rather watch Rally racing any day of the week. I'd love to plan a trip to see a good rally overseas even. At least we have two cars that a Rally-interested guy like myself can buy. Without those, I'd probably stop caring about Rally too. See how that works?
      RichEagle87
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fans aren't watching from home either. Ratings have been down as well. There are some steps NASCAR could take to improve the sport. First, only visit each track once per season. That would likely increase attendance and would shorten the season. Second, get rid of the chase. It would not be needed with a shorter season. Third, shorten races. They are already doing this and will likely eliminate 500 mile races. TV networks are not willing to give up 4 hours of air time. They are making some positive improvements. The new point system is better and the new cars for next year will be a huge improvement. The new cars we have seen look great and that is because they look like the real cars. Sponsorship is becoming harder to come by and the cost of fielding cars is skyrocketing. Time to make changes for the fans, drivers, and owners. If NASCAR does not adapt, everyone will suffer.
        Batsu Mochizuki
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RichEagle87
        How about making it 16 to 18 rounds with 4 road courses.
          RichEagle87
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Batsu Mochizuki
          I would love to see more road courses. By only going to each track once, there would be room to add a few more tracks. Road America and the new Circuit of the Americas would produce great races!
        dan1malk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RichEagle87
        Those are good ideas. I thought, how about an endurance race once a year? 24 hours of Le Mans-esque. 1000 miles maybe? They could incorporate driver changes and such, and do it at the track with the worst attendance to bring more fans there. Also, what if they added a class system similar to lots of sports car racing. Put 1/2 the nationwide cars on the track with 1/2 the Sprint cup cars (or trucks maybe?) And yes. I can't believe there hasn't been any announcement of a race at Circuit of the Americas yet. I'm always for more road courses.
      drewpy
      • 2 Years Ago
      how bout making it less boring?
        Proghog
        • 2 Years Ago
        @drewpy
        Kind of hard to do that when all that they do is turn left on oval tracks and only have 2 road courses the whole season.
      samagon0
      • 2 Years Ago
      maybe the fans are realizing what I realized when I was 10, it just gets boring watching the same exact cars driving around in circles for hours waiting for someone to slip. as I grew older, I can certainly respect the level of skill it takes to get those cars to go in circles, but that doesn't make it less boring to watch.
      RGT881
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's the ticket prices, unemployment, but also the intense heat we have experienced this summer. I don't think NASCAR races should be more than 3 hours long.
      miketim1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Seriosuly I can only watch nascar for only while before i flip the channel . . I couldnt imagine have to seat in that hot sun for all those long laps !
      mikelee
      • 2 Years Ago
      Years ago - before the cookie-cutter car(s) that now run the tracks - NASCAR was great fun because you actually cheered for the brand of car you liked best. Fords were virtually the same cars you could buy at the local dealership (albeit minus the souped-up drive trains), so were the Chryslers and GMs. But when the 'cloned' car appeared, the interest wained . . . at least for me. All of the cars are now identical to each other, except - obviously - for the mechanicals. So what's worth watching now? Nothing. NASCAR became 'squeeky clean' (i.e., "safe") and it was no longer interesting since true competition had ended with the standarizing of the cars.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Bill Fo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Growing up in Charlotte and watching NASCAR since 1972 I have seen the sport rise and fall and the best of the best race and retire....and die. No one factor can be attributed to the recent decline. Of course the shitty economy does not help and that does, I know for a fact, keep some people away. The racing has gotten stale, it isn't about the cars anymore. The tremendous growth in the 90's was due to exciting no faces and the "newness" to those that had never seen it before or been to a race. ESPN had a lot to do with the rise in popularity when they started to broadcast every race live. The new "cookie cutter" tracks took away a lot of the famous, historic, difficult old tracks (Rockingham) and replaced them with highly expensive tracks that provided boring racing. Rules changes contributed to that. Jimmie Johnson winning 5 straight championships turned away new fans who other wise may have hung around but seemed hopeless their driver could ever win. The person that made the comment that races were set up for then endings to be exciting is correct. But you still have to get there, that's why I still watch. Maybe it's just in my blood from when I was little and went to see racing at Charlotte Motor Sppedway back in the 70's but I still think there is nothing quite like the adrenalin rush of that first drop of the green flag. - The sport has changed a lot, some good, some bad but trying to attribute the 8.5% drop in attaendance to any one reason is wrong. There are many factors combined.
      Will Benedict
      • 2 Years Ago
      Instead of amenities, they should add turns...
      sp33dklz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Circles, rednecks, and stickers. Joy.
      earnhdt43
      • 2 Years Ago
      The bottom line is the lack of competition. How many times do you hear the announcers and drivers say, track position is key because it is one groove and too hard to pass due to aero push. This equated to boring racing. No passing no excitement. Flat tracks equal boring racing. Until they (NASCAR>>Brian France) eliminate the flat tracks and go back to the high bank tracks there will be no excitement. And if you ever hear that they (NASCAR) is going to throw a competion caution you can count on it being a noncompetion caution. I long for the old days where the tires would wear out before fuel ran out. No double file restarts without lapped cars on the inside. No wave arounds = No stategy. No pit road speeds. Nascar has created all of their own problems in the guise of safety. Hello, this is racing, do away with all the fluff( internet, concerts, no coolers) this is about real competition. Do away with Cal., Indy, Pocano, Michigan, Miami, Chicago, Kansas, and now Bristol, or change the cars and the tires. I am still watching as I have for 35 years, but my kids are not because it is boring.
    • Load More Comments