NASCAR and Chairman Bill France have discussed changes to be made to the 2015 schedule. Some of the logic behind the yet-to-be proposed changes include NBC taking over half of the television schedule and weather delays. However, I don’t buy the nonchalant attitude that France and the rest of NASCAR are taking toward this, especially considering France used the word “robust” to describe the discussion.
Instead, my belief is that NASCAR and the Sprint Cup Series are going through a major loss in popularity. If you ever watched a race on television over the last couple of year, you would notice the crowds in the bleachers dwindling. If you attended those races, you might have found it much easier to upgrade your seats, free of charge.
Every race I watch, I can’t help but make a comment about the lack of fans in the stands. Large sections of seats have been covered with giant advertising flags, while the start finish line is where the biggest crowd gathers. There are a handful of tracks that still fill up no problem and I wonder if NASCAR is looking into either A.) shortening the schedule or B.) going to the more popular tracks more than twice.
The fading popularity of NASCAR hasn’t exactly been a huge secret. Between the persistent changes to the Chase year after year and the ever changing advertisers, it has appeared that NASCAR may have hit its apex in popularity. Danica Patrick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and twisted piles of race cars can only attract some many fans and take a sport so far. Open-wheel such as F-1 does well overseas, but stock-cars might not be their cup of tea. I would take this whole rescheduling “discussion” a bit more seriously, because for such an expensive sport, a loss of popularity can mean destruction.
Shane Phillips is a NASCAR Writer for RantSports.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneRantSports, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also email Shane at ShaneRantNBA@gmail.com.