Short track racing brings sold out crowd to NASCAR via Phoenix International Raceway
Richmond Raceway once had a seating capacity of 112,000. Now they struggle to sellout the remaining 60,000 seats.
Bristol Motor Speedway has a seating capacity of 160,000. Despite that, the track once had 53 consecutive sellouts. While the seating numbers are up from a few years ago, the attendance is still down.
However, yesterday’s race at Phoenix Raceway was sold out! The track found itself at full-capacity. NASCAR fans filled the track, a capacity that is set at 51,000.
The fans have spoken
It’s a call for more short tracks. Despite typical attendance woes, NASCAR fans are still here. These days, they elect to save their money for a special race. The fans that attend 5-6 races in a single season, are all but gone. High hotel prices and the cost of travel has killed it for them.
Instead, they select one special date and attend. Phoenix Raceway, the triangle intermediate track with short track tendencies is one of these special events.
The city certainly helps the cause. Phoenix is a destination city, it’s also a sports town. Those two things are a net positive for sports venue’s.
Martinsville drama probably helped. While these races are on opposite coasts, they are very much related. Chase Elliott owed one to Denny Hamlin. We all knew it was coming at some point. It just wasn’t going to happen at Texas.
Many fans likely selected the next NASCAR short track race. Directly after the excitement from Martinsville, tickets for Phoenix were purchased.
Some fans don’t pay attention
What I don’t understand is that fans are still quick to hate. Despite a sold out crowd, the typical, ‘Look at those empty seats,’ and ‘There’s nobody there,’ comments were still in effect yesterday on NASCAR related posts.
Pointing out empty seats is one thing. Pointing at a sold out crowd and saying, ‘look at those empty seats,’ is borderline psychotic behavior.
That’s embarrassing. These people are so used to trolling, they completely missed the sellout. Or, they didn’t watch themselves, instead, they just troll posts about ’empty seats’, assuming they are empty.
The grandstands on the back-straight are under construction. Maybe they saw that chunk of empty grandstands and assumed nobody was there.
Yet, nobody was allowed in that section because that section isn’t complete. Those grandstands will be open in 2018. It’s part of the ‘Phoenix Raceway Project’ which includes much more than grandstands.
The Phoenix Raceway Project: 45,000 brand new grandstands, 32 renovated suites and 19 brand new suites. In addition, new escalators and elevators, new souvenir areas, new Fanzone located in the infield, New DC Solar Fan Midway and of by the way the start/finish line will be moved to the dogleg.
To my knowledge the last NASCAR sellout at any track, was in 2015. It happened at Watkins Glen International, where nearly 40,000 seats surround the 2.5 mile road course.
A few weeks ago, Talladega Superspeedway had an excellent crowd as well. Both Talladega and Phoenix are races in the playoffs. While some fans are critical of the new NASCAR playoff format, it clearly brings the fans to the stands.
Related: Phoenix Raceway race results