Friday September 22, 2023
The Best Employers in Sports Survey is Now Open!

After Daytona 500, NASCAR Sees Ratings Spike

Front Office Sports Today

How Rupert Murdoch Changed Sports Media Forever

As he steps down as chair of Fox and News Corp., we discuss his monumental and ongoing impact.
Listen Now
September 22, 2023 | Podcast
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

2017 Daytona 500's pre-race from infield. Photo via Christian Espinoza

2017 Daytona 500’s pre-race from infield. Photo via Christian Espinoza

For years, NASCAR viewership and attendance have seen a decrease. Part of these problems stem from the aging fan-base and the unique sameness that the sport offers.

If last week’s Daytona 500 was any indication, NASCAR might be in for a good year.

Ratings were up 5% from 2016’s race, which saw the closest finish in NASCAR history, and viewership peaked at 11.9 million.

Want more great content like this? Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter!

Sunday’s numbers were the highest for the Daytona 500 since 2015’s race which saw 13.4 million viewers tune in. Viewership for The Great American Race peaked in 2006 when 19.4 million tuned in to see Jimmie Johnson win in a green-white-checker finish.

Not only were ratings up across the board, but NASCAR saw a key spike in the “millennial” age group.

With last week's Daytona 500, NASCAR saw a ratings bump across the board. Image via Bob Pockrass

With last week’s Daytona 500, NASCAR saw a ratings bump across the board. Image via Bob Pockrass

The largest spike in TV ratings over the weekend was in adults aged 18–34. In this age demographic, NASCAR saw an increase in viewership by 13 percent. That increase ties a four-year high in viewership.

With the average NASCAR fan being 48 years old, it is a crucial time to strike a balance between appealing to lifelong fans and capturing the attention of the next generation.

While the spike may be a sign of good things to come, years of decreased interest in the sport, economic downturn, and increased ticket prices has impacted tracks across the country.

Speedway Motorsports Inc., based in Concord, NC, owns nine race tracks and claims that admission dropped 28 percent from 2010 to 2015. At International Speedway Corporation’s 13 tracks, admission fell 19 percent and Dover Motorsports admission fell 51 percent in six years.

Not only have attendance rates been declining, but ISC has removed thousands of seats from some of its tracks. According to Forbes, 13,000 seats were removed from Michigan International Speedway and Auto Club with an additional 20,000 being removed from Richmond International Raceway.

With new initiatives such as NASCAR’s deal with Monster Energy and 2016 Rookie of the Year Chase Elliott offers a ticketing promotional at various tracks. The tickets are $24 and aim to get the college age demographic out to the track on race day, NASCAR is aiming to make the sport more sell-able to the younger masses.

One week into the season, things are looking up.

Only time will tell if this positive momentum will continue.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Deion Sanders

Colorado's Epic Victory Sets New ESPN Prime Time Viewership Record

Coach Prime Deion Sanders delivered in prime time on ESPN.
NASCAR aims to boost its revenue with a new summer race streaming package.

Amazon, Warner Bros. In Race for New NASCAR Summer Package

NASCAR's current deals with NBC and FOX expire after 2024.

NASCAR Drives Onto Netflix To Woo New Generation Of Fans

NASCAR is creating a Netflix series following the 2023 Cup Series Playoffs.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

How Rupert Murdoch Changed Sports Media Forever


Featured Today

Teams without secured venue situations could be left out of a potential XFL-USFL merger.

XFL-USFL Merger Could Drop Teams, Change League Name

Teams without secured venues could be cut from a XFL-USFL merger.
September 21, 2023

Rupert Murdoch's Exit Leaves Lasting Fox Sports Legacy

Rupert Murdoch steps down as chairman of Fox Corp. and News Corp.
Could ESPN lose events such as the NBA Finals if it sold ABC.
September 21, 2023

Selling ABC Poses Billion-Dollar Dilemma for Disney and ESPN's Future

Losing ABC would create complications as ESPN enters NBA rights negotiations.
Boise State Broncos running back Ashton Jeanty (2) runs the ball against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks during the first half at Albertsons Stadium.
September 20, 2023

The First Official Proposal for Promotion-Relegation In College Football

Realignment is forcing Group of 5 schools to rethink their structure.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Chicago Cubs
New York
Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, Inc.
USA - Multiple Locations

MLS’ Chris Schlosser on Pioneering the Digital-First Sports League with AI

Chris Schlosser discusses MLS's growth and digital transformation.
April 25, 2023

Oakland A’s Could Share Stadium with Triple-A Team

The Oakland A's could be searching for a place to play.
Titans stadium.
April 19, 2023

Titans' Historic New $2.1B Stadium One Step Closer to Reality

About $1.26B in public money would go toward the new stadium.
May 20, 2022

Crypto Crash Impact on Sports Sponsorships

Prior to the last two weeks, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, exchanges, and a host…
March 11, 2022

The Evolution of Consumer Wearables

The wearables market has seen incredible amounts of growth since the onset of the pandemic. Trends like telemedicine and remote patient monitoring have helped spur adoption and inspired new consumer products that allow for the tracking and collection of biometric data.
February 11, 2022

The Role of Live Sports in Streaming

The streaming wars have intensified as the field is as competitive as ever. One way to retain customers? The answer might be live sports.
February 4, 2022

Super Bowl Ad Market Examined

The Super Bowl is now only one week away and the stakes…
February 3, 2022

Making Headlines

NFL: The Giants hired Laura Young as director of coaching operations. Young…