An uncertain future for NASCAR?

Published 3:00 am Thursday, February 23, 2017

It is no secret that NASCAR has been declining in popularity, attendance and TV viewership. The Wall Street Journal,focused on this situation in an online posting February 20, 2017.Mentioned was NASCAR’s difficulty in securing national sponsorship after Sprint’s departure two years ago. The article compares the decline in market appeal to booming days of a decade ago that include the movie, “Talladega Nights”. The Journal states that the trend is, “….out of control”. with the television audience down by 45%-twice the decline of the NBA and five times the decline of the NFL for the same period.

Is it, or is this more media hyperbole? Tracks are cited as removing seating (compared to expanding capacity) to give the appearance on TV of greater participation. I am sure that attendees at the Talladega track have noted large sections of unsold seating as well.

So, what is the cause? Has NASCAR outlived its appeal? Are fans, in fact, becoming more aged and less interested in the sport? Is there any truth to the Journal’s details of France family infighting and management style problems? NASCAR giant and retired driver, Richard Petty, was quoted recently as stating, “…who is in charge?”

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NBC Executives are considering moving much of the race schedule to weekdays to free up valuable weekend TV time. NBC stated that in the past fifteen years television has funneled over $13 Billion into NASCAR-a sobering fact none of us can overlook!

What does this mean for NASCAR track surrounding communities and their economies?

James W. Anderson