Nascar 2021

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SamCdbs

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And, Dover Motorsports (owner of Dover and Nashville) cashes in its chips and sells out to SMI.

This leaves only the silly road course events in Austin and Elkhart Lake (Austin is a track rental, managed by SMI), the new event at Gateway/St. Louis, Indianapolis (which is a track rental by NASCAR) and the now single event at Pocono (which is rumored to be gone in a year or two) outside the ownership of NASCAR (the old ISC) or SMI.
 
Don in CT

Don in CT

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And, Dover Motorsports (owner of Dover and Nashville) cashes in its chips and sells out to SMI.

This leaves only the silly road course events in Austin and Elkhart Lake (Austin is a track rental, managed by SMI), the new event at Gateway/St. Louis, Indianapolis (which is a track rental by NASCAR) and the now single event at Pocono (which is rumored to be gone in a year or two) outside the ownership of NASCAR (the old ISC) or SMI.
How much use do these tracks get when there isn't a big race? Do they sit idle most of the year?
 
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How much use do these tracks get when there isn't a big race? Do they sit idle most of the year?
If we define "big race" as NASCAR, Indy Car, IMSA, and F1, it is safe to say that that constitutes 99% of the track's income. The rest is just stuff like at Bristol they put up Christmas lights you can drive around the bottom of the track to see or Martinsville has a swap meet. Stuff like that. A few places might get an outdoor concert or two. Might get a commercial or something filmed. Indy has a museum and you can ride a bus around the place.

Mostly they just sit 50 weeks a year.
 
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If we define "big race" as NASCAR, Indy Car, IMSA, and F1, it is safe to say that that constitutes 99% of the track's income. The rest is just stuff like at Bristol they put up Christmas lights you can drive around the bottom of the track to see or Martinsville has a swap meet. Stuff like that. A few places might get an outdoor concert or two. Might get a commercial or something filmed. Indy has a museum and you can ride a bus around the place.

Mostly they just sit 50 weeks a year.
Do any of these places actually make money?
 
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Do any of these places actually make money?
Well, they used to. Short history.

Most tracks belong to either NASCAR or SMI. Until recently these were publicly traded companies. ISC and SMI (NASCAR was then separate from ISC, but really its the same thing). They were both taken private getting ready for the coming TV deal.

Under the TV deal, the tracks get a substantial portion of the network $$. They were both solidly profitable companies.

The TV deal runs out after the 24 season. NASCAR has run off about 2 out of every 3 viewers it had at the time the last contract was signed, not to mention the whole industry wide "cord cutting" shift and all of that. Most people expect it will get about 1/3rd the money the next time around. I think it will be more like 1/5th. NASCAR 21's overall TV ratings are, again, a new record low, leaving out last year (which, BTW, should have been very high as the sport had the world to itself for almost 2 months, but were not).

Jimmy Johnson stated this week that driver's salaries are ALREADY down 50% from their peak, due to declining popularity.
 
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Don in CT

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Well, they used to. Short history.

Most tracks belong to either NASCAR or SMI. Until recently these were publicly traded companies. ISC and SMI (NASCAR was then separate from ISC, but really its the same thing). They were both taken private getting ready for the coming TV deal.

Under the TV deal, the tracks get a substantial portion of the network $$. They were both solidly profitable companies.

The TV deal runs out after the 24 season. NASCAR has run off about 2 out of every 3 viewers it had at the time the last contract was signed, not to mention the whole industry wide "cord cutting" shift and all of that. Most people expect it will get about 1/3rd the money the next time around. I think it will be more like 1/5th. NASCAR 21's overall TV ratings are, again, a new record low, leaving out last year (which, BTW, should have been very high as the sport had the world to itself for almost 2 months, but were not).

Jimmy Johnson stated this week that driver's salaries are ALREADY down 50% from their peak, due to declining popularity.
How do team owners make their money? Are they hurting too?
 
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How do team owners make their money? Are they hurting too?
Certainly.

Team owners make money two ways. What they win by on-track performance, but most importantly by what they are paid by the advertisers.

It is way down.

Way down.

NASCAR has run off 2 of every 3 viewers it once had in slightly over a decade. If you are McDonald's or FedEX or Coca-Cola, well there you go.

And, again, this all comes back to the expiration of the TV contract after 24. IMHO, NASCAR will end up not only getting far less $$, but will end up on maze of complex off-beat channels and streaming services. How much is a main advertiser willing to pay for a race only a couple of hundred thousand will see behind an internet paywall? Why not buy 1000 more billboards along I-40 or 1000 more minutes of radio jingles?

Most observers believe that in the future teams will have shops that have only a few employees. Already, next year, NASCAR is switching from the current car to yet another "next gen" car. While NASCAR cars, since they stopped really being "stock" in the mid 60s, have been hand built by the teams, these are spec-mobiles that will be made in a factory in NC and sold to the teams. The "fabrication" part of the race teams have already been shut down and the people mostly fired.

It is going to get a lot worse.
 
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Certainly.

Team owners make money two ways. What they win by on-track performance, but most importantly by what they are paid by the advertisers.

It is way down.

Way down.

NASCAR has run off 2 of every 3 viewers it once had in slightly over a decade. If you are McDonald's or FedEX or Coca-Cola, well there you go.

And, again, this all comes back to the expiration of the TV contract after 24. IMHO, NASCAR will end up not only getting far less $$, but will end up on maze of complex off-beat channels and streaming services. How much is a main advertiser willing to pay for a race only a couple of hundred thousand will see behind an internet paywall? Why not buy 1000 more billboards along I-40 or 1000 more minutes of radio jingles?

Most observers believe that in the future teams will have shops that have only a few employees. Already, next year, NASCAR is switching from the current car to yet another "next gen" car. While NASCAR cars, since they stopped really being "stock" in the mid 60s, have been hand built by the teams, these are spec-mobiles that will be made in a factory in NC and sold to the teams. The "fabrication" part of the race teams have already been shut down and the people mostly fired.

It is going to get a lot worse.
I still feel NASCAR's biggest problem is they simply can't race these things on the tracks they've got and are suffering from competition from streaming.

Technological progress has partially killed the sport. You can't race these things on large tracks because the speeds get too high (see USAC at Daytona the only time they were there... and people like AJ Foyt said 'forget that!'). And short tracks? Short tracks were snooze worthy in the 80s. There isn't much of a sweet spot for NASCAR anymore, short of potentially taking banking out of the turns to add some sport to the courses. It is impressive how Indycar actually has managed to handle parity quite a bit better. Though Indycar likely isn't as popular as NASCAR, the competition is pretty good. And the marque race has never been more competitive! There is none of that in NASCAR.

With all the streaming competition motorsports are up against, the racing needs to be compelling. NASCAR has become problematic. You say they drove off 2 of 3 fans, but the reality is, NASCAR was starting to bleed fans back when Jimmy Johnson was winning all the time and ending seasons early. Their solutions have been quite silly or maybe even desperate. Staging races is the dumbest thing in the world, where instead they should stage multiple races, but that could just drive fans away as well. As well as the playoff system which makes absolutely no sense based on how stupidity in individual races can cost drivers big. These changes were made because they were already losing viewers. Things have gotten even tighter competition for eyeballs wise.

In general, in NASCAR, the races are too many... too long... too uncompetitive... too predictable regarding crashes. Add that to the truth that back in the 80s and 90s, the races had many fewer things to compete with it, NASCAR has been suffering an inevitable death without serious transformation... with a fan base that likely would reject any of those required changes.
 

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