Is NASCAR as Accessible to Fans as They Say or Is It All a Facade?

Published 12/11/2023, 6:53 AM EST

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In any sport, the fans are arguably the most important piece of the puzzle. After all, who likes to win if there is no one to share your success with? Now, every fan has their favorite athlete, and it is a dream come true to meet them in the flesh. However, it’s not so easy to simply approach them just like that, and it is especially more difficult before they go and perform.

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In light of this, some in the NASCAR community believe that their sport is a lot more accessible, even if the fans may not agree all the time. In a recent interview with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Joey Logano spoke about accessibility in the series.

Joey Logano gives his hot take on NASCAR, the sport to NFL

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Starting with a bold thought, the Team Penske driver said, “Our fans are spoiled. I love our race fans, but think about other sports for a second. When are you going to meet an NFL player? Can you access an NFL player? Any time like three hours before a game? No. But you can meet me 20 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, before I get in the race car. You can take a picture with me. I am there, and all the other racers do the same thing.”

“We walk down a red carpet and there are people on both sides of us. All the drivers stop and sign autographs, or at least try their hardest to.”

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Is there any substance to Logano’s argument for NASCAR?

According to the 2-time Cup Series champion, this is the norm for NASCAR drivers. He insisted that such a thing does not happen in any other sport. In essence, what he is trying to say is that it is wrong to say that he and his contemporaries are inaccessible.

Logano did acknowledge that there are some drivers who have that ‘larger than life’ tag associated with their lifestyle. However, the majority of his colleagues are just as “normal” as anyone else. Interestingly, fellow driver Carson Hocevar disagreed with that statement.

Replying to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio post, He wrote, “Why do we pretend and act like we give fans the most access? Baseball just a foul ball alone you could have a player land in lap catching the ball. Football post game the crowd storms the field. Just those two alone make you feel apart. We give our fans interviews in the midway that hopefully you’re lucky enough to get an autograph before PR person has to pull the driver to leave.”

“Buy a VIP and hope you’re able to get a glimpse or catch them coming out of hauler but same applies there. Local short tracks do it right by opening the pit gate post-race and allowing fans to come down. Why can’t we?”

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Are there any sports where the fan experience is better?

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Back in 2018, Qualtrics XM Institute published a study into the average fan experience in US sports. It found that Major League Baseball had the best in-person attendance of 19.8% of all consumers, followed by the NFL with a score of 15.8%. Meanwhile, on the NASCAR front, only 3.2% of the consumers attended a race live in the previous years.

On the bright side for NASCAR, they lead the pack in terms of promotions. The study revealed that NASCAR has the most avid fans. 57% of consumers who went to a NASCAR event are “promoters”, who would recommend attending a NASCAR race. Additionally, in terms of ticketing, parking, arrival, seat locating, restroom amenities, food, souvenirs, event attendance, and departure, NASCAR lies third behind MLB and the Major League Soccer.

WATCH THIS STORY: Clash of Opinions: Hocevar vs Logano on NASCAR Fan Accessibility

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The study also found that only 3.2% of fans attended a NASCAR race in 2017. In that, 62% of fans found satisfaction while purchasing tickets, putting it joint third behind the WNBA and the NFL. On the subject of parking, only 55% of fans were left satisfied. 60% were satisfied with entry to the venues, but the other parameters were below the 60% mark. However, It is 2023 now and those numbers must have shifted, hopefully for the good.

But what do you think? Is NASCAR more accessible or less accessible to fans when compared to other sports?

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Written by:

Dhruv George

14,282Articles

One take at a time

Growing up as a Formula One fan, I was always vaguely aware that there was a sport called NASCAR. But when I actually got to know more about it, it didn't take me long to get hooked. My closest encounter with NASCAR was back in 2009 when my family took a picture of me next to one of Dale Earnhardt Jr?s cars.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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