NASCAR has made the hard decision to run the next two races at Atlanta and Miami without attendance from fans. Not even media will be allowed near the drivers. Drivers, crew, broadcast teams, and car owners will be the only ones allowed at the track.
They were under intense pressure after the NBA, NHL, XFL, PGA, and NCAA have either elected to suspend operations or even cancel the remainder of seasons altogether. NASCAR and MLB are the only remaining American sports to continue run during this stressful time.
For anyone who was planning on only catching the race from the comfort of their couch, this doesn’t really affect you at all. It doesn’t even affect drivers and crew, their job remains the same whether someone is in the stands or not. Who does it affect?
- Fans who paid for tickets
- Track Owners
- Track Employees
- Campsite Operators
NASCAR has already said that fans who bought tickets will receive a credit to use at races in the 2020 and 2021 season. So other than the inconvenience of the whole thing, fans will at least get what they paid for eventually.
Media that is non-TV coverage will not be present for the race. Any news sites will be forced to cover the race from the same spot on the couch as the rest of us. It makes their jobs less immersive and slightly harder, but really it’s not a major issue.
The first spot this really starts to hurt the NASCAR economy is with the track owners of Atlanta and Miami. They receive all the profits from the tickets sold to fans. While they are able to keep the money already spent for their race, these credits NASCAR is handing out will affect them in the future.
Not only that but if the races weren’t already sold out, they obviously won’t be selling any more tickets. Now, NASCAR kicks a hefty amount of the broadcast earning to the track so they’re not really going to be short on cash come to the end of the weekend, but their bottom line will take a hit.
I wouldn’t be surprised if NASCAR works out an under the table deal to help the tracks out, however. Don’t ask me what it could be, but politics exist everywhere.
There is really only one small group of people this will hurt terribly. It’s the vendors and campsite operators that rely on this big payday to help them throughout the year. There are some of these vendors that set up shop outside the race track as a full-time job in order to support their livelihood. Campsite operators who expect to have a large portion of their income from these races.
Not only that but what about the employees who work the food stands and ticket check-ins? All of these people will be out of work for these weekends. Some of them needing these paychecks will no longer receive anything as there is no need for their services without fans.
If NASCAR is running races without fans then that means nobody will be showing up at the track to buy goods nor will anybody be setting up camp in preparation for the race weekend. These are the unfortunate few who will not be talked about and who NASCAR will not be helping throughout this process.
I do not disagree with the call NASCAR made and this is just an unfortunate event for all the working-class citizens who see the race weekend as their opportunity to make money to support themselves and their families.