By Patrick Reynolds
The grandstands looked about three-quarters full.
Not bad, considering today’s day and age of a struggling economy. There are many obstacles staring at all levels of professional sports as they try to fill arenas and stadiums to capacity.
Unemployment, high fuel costs, hotel, food, and ticket prices are items on the minds of league and sanctioning body management boards across the sports world. How to overcome those issues and fill seats with fans is a daily effort.
The triple-digit heat and severe storms that hit parts of the Southeast and Midwest during the weekend certainly impacted many people’s recreational activities. Exchanged were times in a motorhome on a summer road trip, for chainsaws and toolboxes doing home repairs and damage control. Those fortunate to have missed the wind, rain, and lightning and not needing property cleanup were still facing air temperature around 100 degrees. Water or air conditioning probably outlined those plans.
Overcoming all of that would be plenty for any sporting event.
But after last year’s traffic and parking debacle for Kentucky Speedway’s inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race, the track should count its lucky stars for every warm body that passed through the gates for Saturday’s 400-mile event.