We are all getting very antsy for racing to begin. NASCAR released a schedule today which begins in mid May. The schedule for the first part of June appears to have eliminated the possibility of an Indycar/NASCAR doubleheader. Some tracks have a Sunday race and a Wednesday race at the same track. I assume fans will not be allowed at the earlier races. When fans can again attend, how will tracks handle it?
Last night on Trackside Kevin Lee suggested tracks refund money to everyone who has bought a ticket and start selling tickets again- fewer tickets and several seats apart. He also suggested that promoters raise the prices on these resold seats. I don’t like this idea. While I would love to get a refund from a track if I can’t go to a race which I planned to attend, I would prefer it be my choice not to go. As we have seen from the cancellations earlier this year, some tracks aren’t willing to part with the money they have collected.
It isn’t just the ticket money. There are travel and lodging costs likely already prepaid by ticket buyers, much of which is non-refundable. I think the loss of money will leave a sour taste with some fans. I know several people who are not happy with the no refund policy of Green Savoree regarding the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. I think those with tickets to their Toronto race are going to have the same experience.
Imagine the Indianapolis 500 limiting attendance. people who have been to 50 plus consecutive races can’t go. The selection process breaks up groups who have attended together for years. When I was at IMS last week I saw a brick near the entrance honoring three couples who had attended 36 consecutive races together.
How does the track resell their tickets? Do they have a lottery among those who bought tickets? What about those tracks that sell season tickets? Some of their most loyal customers may be left out. An open market sale begins at 10 pm local time on Monday?
There is no good solution. The easiest thing to do is not allow any fans until everyone is allowed in. A promoter is going to alienate fans by limiting attendance. Like you, I am very anxious to get to a track, see my friends, and watch cars zoom by. However, I want this to happen in a safe environment, and I am willing to wait. I will be happy to watch races from my living room until this danger is past. As for empty stands, we have seen that before so it won’t bother me that much.