Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

September 2, 2010

Is Indy Car Pricing Itself Right Out of Popularity?

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:41 pm

To fully enjoy all that a race weekend has to offer, race fans should be allowed to get up close and personal (in a manner of speaking) to the drivers and personalities in the garage area before a race. Many garage areas are built to accommodate a lot of walking traffic. The oval at Kentucky is a good example of that.

The problem is access is either severely limited to the average ticket holder, or is prohibitively expensive. Kentucky Speedway is a prime example. Let’s say a family of four wants to go. They’ll probably spend:

-$275 for race tickets

-$50 (or more) for concessions and souvenirs.

So far we’re up to $325 before accounting for transportation to and from. Add in garage access at Kentucky, and suddenly the price shoots up to $525 for that same family of four.

Is it any wonder why attendance is lacking at some of the best tracks? The current cart-centricity of the management takes a dim view of ovals anyway (as evidenced by completely ignoring fan passion for racing at Chicagoland) and offers very little in the way of well rounded pre-race entertainment options. Then they whine about how unpopular ovals seem to be. Then ovals get dropped. It is self-fulfilling prophecy. Given a complete lack of any meaningful promotion of such venues most people are not even aware they can spend money to go.

Ovals are not unpopular. Being raped, however, is very unpopular. So here is a suggestion: If you are going to do business with Bruton and crew, ensure that ticket prices and garage access are reasonably priced. If you do not do that you will end up with bare aluminum. It is very simple. Allow the fans a chance to attend.

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8 Comments »

  1. This is a foolish post. No other top level league costs anywhere near as little as an IRL event. Furthermore 275 is pretty steep for four. I’d say, as a for instance four of us went to Kentucky, had great seats, and spent less then two hundred total on the tickets. Hell, I’d like to see someone get four NFL tickets for under 500.

    Editor’s Note: Indy Car is not the NFL. They also don’t bend on the price of garage passes. Add $200 to your ticket price for access and all of a sudden it’s $400. If you buy concessions you’ll spend even more. Most families who would like to attend can’t spend that much money. Sooner or later they may get that, but I doubt it.

    Comment by The American Mutt — September 2, 2010 @ 1:46 pm | Reply

  2. I don’t think the series is promoting twisties over ovals. I think–as they’ve said–that the goal is a 50/50 series. Nascar has been instrumental in taking the ovals away, and the promotion of Indyovals by Nascar has been lacking anyway. I think Bernard is trying like crazy to find some decent ovals where Indycar can run.

    I agree that the races should be affordable–if not a bargain–for the average family–it’s important to put people in those aluminum seats (or on grassy hillsides & sidewalks) right now.

    Comment by redd — September 2, 2010 @ 3:22 pm | Reply

  3. I don’t know if I agree with this assessment either. Honestly, going to a race is an “event” for most people that go. Unless you live in the Indy area, you’re probably only going to make 1 Indycar race a year. This isn’t like a trip to the movies or the local minor league baseball game. People understand that they are going to have to pay out a couple bucks for this kind of experience. In addition, I think you’re looking at this in a vacuum. How does the price if an IICS race compare to Napcar or other “big league” type sporting events? Honestly, I think the Indycar races are a great value for the entertainment you get.

    Vince in Texas

    Comment by Vince in TX — September 2, 2010 @ 3:58 pm | Reply

  4. Dear Defender,

    I agree with the American Mutt…I paid $80.00 a ticket for this Saturday’s race and, quite honestly, this is a great value in today’s sports world…no, Indy Car is not the NFL but consider that the tickets that I purchased to attend the F1 European GP in Valencia this summer ran $650.00 a piece…and these were not the premium seats under the shade at the start/finish line (those ran $950.00 each)…each game on my Heat season ticket package is $155.00… face it, today’s sports landscape and the prices charged across the board are shutting out plenty of fans and their families…only baseball continues to price its games moderately…whether it’s a function of corporate greed or the ascension of the sky-box crowd that demands a higher level of service, we will probably never see the days when a family of four can attend an event and not spend several hundred dollars on tix, concessions and extras…

    Comment by Neil Rubin — September 2, 2010 @ 4:07 pm | Reply

  5. I was an NFL season ticket holder for 20 years until 2003. My original tickets in 1984 were $6.95 a game. When I dropped my tickets in 2003 they had increased to $34. Almost a 500% increase. In the last 7 years since I dropped them, they have doubled again. Ticket price and concessions we a big part of my decision to drop the tickets. It is taking the NFL longer to show the affects, but they are there.

    Indy was always the best deal as you could take you own food and beverages into the track, and if you had to buy track fries, you would still be benefitting a charity or school as they worked the booths. Beginning this year, the union boys are running concessions just as in the other sports. Prices there will be rising significantly. How long will it be before we can no longer take our food and beverages in with us?

    All sports pricing is out of control. That is why we are beginning to see attendance declines in several sports. Even the NFL has had issues in certain cities.

    The sport that makes it both affordable and fun will be the sport that begins the reversal of this trend. Lets have Indy Car be the first! At least with the Brickyard 400, the Indy Motor Speedway is beginning to respond to ticket prices.

    Comment by Bob F. — September 2, 2010 @ 4:46 pm | Reply

  6. “The current CART- centricity of the management”? Why don’t you just bitch, I mean write an article, about why Randy Bernard is so CART-centric and why you hate him so much? He’s obviously a distant relative of Roger Penske or Pat Patrick to want to revive everything that is great about racing and leave this irl evolutionary period behind. Right?

    Editor’s Note: Wrong. It would be splendid if you at least made an attempt to cultivate even minimal reading comprehension skills. I actually believe Randy is doing a swell job, but more often than not he must overcome the bad advice given to him by the aforementioned self-interested louts.

    Comment by Offender — September 2, 2010 @ 4:52 pm | Reply

  7. That’s a lot of money to spend on a car race. In todays economy, you gotta figure a lot of race fans are getting priced out. OTOH, it’s the promoter’s job to know their customer. As long as the promoter is paying the sanctioning fee, then it’s really not the ICS’ problem, is it? Is the ICS supposed to tell promoters how much to charge for a ticket?

    What fan passion for racing at Chicagoland? Yours? I’m an oval fan, and Chicago is an exciting race with all the side by side, but the league is not going to get the sanctioning fees (prize money, etc.) they want if they keep such poorly attended races on the schedule. Look at the attendance, and the TV ratings; that kind of passion is going to put IndyCar out of business. Randy B. asked ISC what they could do about that, and they said nothing, it’s your problem.

    In what way is current management CART-centric? Randy B. goes to USAC events, openly lobbies NASCAR drivers to race in the 500, and wants the ICS to recruit USAC drivers for the Road to Indy ladder series. Hmmm, must be that Barnhart guy—I always figured him for a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    Comment by Boo Boo — September 2, 2010 @ 5:16 pm | Reply

  8. Now, now, Boo Boo, no point trying to inject logic into Defender’s narrow point of view. Since Defender hates CART, he tries-in a very puerile way-to say that everything that goes wrong is the fault of CART, its fans, etc. And while there is some degree of truth to that, it’s not to the level that haters like Defender make it out to be.

    This is an important lesson about propaganda. Defender doesn’t have any proof about Randy Bernard’s CART-centricity, he instead continues to repeat the lie in the hope that someone other than himself is willing to fall for this garbage.

    Reptition does not transform a lie into truth-Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

    I’ll lie if I want to because you’re too stupid to think otherwise-John Walton, aka Defender.

    Editor’s Note: You probably ought to read today’s edition of the blog. A lot of it is about your kind.

    Comment by Thesmartestguyintheroom — September 3, 2010 @ 1:29 am | Reply


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