NASCAR officials should be concerned.
If they are not, they are sleeping at the wheel and will someday be adopted by Formula 1 in this country.
If you don’t believe me, consider Stephen Ross, billionaire owner of the Miami Dolphins – whose subsidiary, South Florida Motorsports, is funding Sunday’s much-hyped Miami Grand Prix – ticket sales for Miami’s inaugural F1 event. I am ready to make more and more money. As he makes it to the Dolphins’ home games throughout the season. In fact, business insiders say the economic impact of a Super Bowl-like ratio is being created this weekend, with an estimated 300,000 fans, celebrities, tourists and corporate executives in South Florida drinking, partying, and 3.4. There are great Mercedes and Ferraris gathered around to see. -Mile track near Hard Rock Stadium at speeds in excess of 200 mph.
I’m not saying the Miami Grand Prix will get higher ratings than NASCAR’s Throwback Weekend in Darlington on Sunday, when the two racing leagues face off on network TV (NASCAR is on Fox Sports 1; Formula 1 is on ABC) ) , but that day is coming to NASCAR faster than you ever imagined.
The growing stature of F1 in America can be directly attributed to the wildly popular Netflix series: Formula 1: Drive to Survive – A show that has been described as a “soap-operative documentary” that gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at F1 drivers, teams, cars and races.
Clearly, F1 has calmed down on the international stage, while NASCAR, although it is evolving and making mighty efforts to transform its image, is still considered by many to be the good ol’ boy sport of the South. Is.
A recent F1 race in Austin recorded 400,000 fans, about 70% of whom were first-time attendees. Meanwhile, suite and pre-sale tickets for the Miami Grand Prix sold out in less than a day, with the cheapest ticket fetching $600 and the most expensive ticket fetching $30,000 in the secondary market.
The Miami Grand Prix has become such a big money-maker that the sport has overtaken and is now being covered by commercial publications. According to the Sports Business Journal, SeatGeek — a popular online site for buying and selling tickets — is reporting that the Miami Grand Prix is the most in-demand auto race of all time, with an average resale price of $2,414 per ticket. Last week.
If NASCAR’s Daytona 500 is “The Great American Race” then the Miami Grand Prix is ”The Great American Phenomenon.”
According to another business website, CNBC, Miami’s top hotels are charging more than $100,000 a night for their top suites. Chefs are offering special dinners for $3,000 per plate, and nightclubs are bringing in top DJs, with tables going up to $100,000 a night.
“This is going to be the biggest week in Miami history,” said Jeff Zalaznik, managing partner at Major Food Group, which sold its dinner on Miami Beach for $3,000 a person. “We’ve never seen such demand. It’s going to be a very enjoyable experience.”
The thing is, F1 is not only wooing wealthy jet-setters and beautiful people, but is also grabbing the attention of average sports fans. Case in point: Two of my best friends in Orlando have become avid F1 fans because of Netflix.
Pat Lynch, an iconic rock and roll DJ at WJRR in Orlando, is probably the biggest sports fan I know. This guy watches every sport you can imagine on TV, and has always been a big fan of NASCAR. But when I put him on the spot a few days ago and asked if he was a big fan of NASCAR or F1, his answer was telling.
“I have to be honest, I’m leaning towards F1,” replied Lynch. “The Netflix series pushed me to the top. I was like a casual F1 fan before, but now I know about the drivers, the names of the teams and what goes into all of this. This is interesting; it really is.”
UCF’s longtime radio voice Mark Daniels tells a similar story.
“My wife and I have become big fans,” Daniels told me during our radio show the other day. “During the pandemic, my wife and I were at odds with each other drive to survive And totally hooked. Now, we are huge fans. We both have our favorite team, we have our favorite driver, I bought his F1 merchandise and now we want to travel to Europe and do it to be able to go to F1 races. We were looking to go to Miami this weekend, but the tickets we were looking at were worth $3,000. I was like, ‘Honey, I love you, but we’re not doing that’!
It should come as no surprise that NASCAR recently unveiled its Netflix documentary – Race: Bubba Wallace – Regarding Wallace’s journey as the sport’s only black driver during the racially charged 2020-21 season.
Consider it the start of NASCAR’s own campaign for survival as the sport pedals to the metal, futuristic races and attempts to block F1’s master plan to become F1’s No. 1 choice in meeting America’s need for speed. does.
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