It’s race week in Daytona. The “Super Bowl of NASCAR,” the Daytona 500, is tomorrow afternoon. This is our first big tourist event of tourist season, and usually the town is packed.
But not this year.
NASCAR lowered the prices of tickets to the race. I don’t know what they cost before, but the lowest price is now $55. And the race still didn’t sell out. It usually does. Traffic is bad, but not as bad as it should be. According to the news, there are still hotel rooms available right across from the Speedway.
The Daytona 500 is the opening race of the season, not to mention its status as “the Super Bowl of NASCAR” (the newscasters make a point of saying that every year). If I was a NASCAR fan, and was only going to attend one race, this would likely be the one. If this race didn’t sell out, that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the races this year.
We have another race here on 4th of July weekend – it used to be called the Firecracker 400, but I can’t keep track of who is sponsoring it now. We need the fans to come to that race. We need the bikers to come in March. We need all the tourists we can get. If we don’t get them, our already dismal local economy is going to be even bleaker.
And the 500 didn’t sell out. It’s not a good start to the year.