Will NASCAR shorten its season?
While that might seem like some kind of far off conspiracy theory, it is actually a debate taking place within The NASCAR fanbase and has many wondering if the company would consider such a thing. Beyond that, it is one of the most feasible solutions to the yearly problem that is The NFL.
Unfortunately for NASCAR, the start of their postseason comes at the same time as the start of The NFL season, which is bound to cause some race fans over to watch the big game instead. With that being said and NASCAR only trailing NFL in terms of popularity at one point, it doesn’t seem like the stock car racing organization is all that concerned.
In fact, NASCAR President, Steven Phelps, talked about the notion of shortening their season in order to avoid competing with The NFL and he shot down the idea outright. He even outright claimed that wasn’t the trend they were trying to go with at all.
“It’s a notion that a lot of folks have talked about.,” Phelps claimed when asked about the possibility of shortening the 2021 season in order to avoid competing with The NFL, “I don’t see that happening. If you look at the direction that we went in… “
Although NASCAR refusing to back down from The NFL is admirable in a sense, it is a foolish choice when you look at the state NASCAR is in right now. Not only is that evident by the sports declining fanbase over the last couple of seasons, but also just how hated long seasons are in sports.
Think about it! NASCAR might take a hit in the pocketbook by not running the last ten races of the season, but that doesn’t have to be true for the longterm. For example, if NASCAR restructures its sponsorship model, which would be easier with a smaller schedule, they can at least work at making the sport sustainable again.
They could also earn their money back in countless other ways and maybe even create a more interesting experience for fans in the process. If nothing else, NASCAR isn’t sustainable in its current form and it is proven more and more every week
With that being said, the sport now must think about the future and how to make it sustainable again. Some might think the answer to that lies in creating new stars, which to an extent is true, but even a new batch of fan favorites can’t fix the problems of an overdrawn out season.
In the end, having an 18 race season and a ten-race playoff schedule would be a very polarizing idea to explore and add an extra chaotic feel to the year. It also allows NASCAR to not have to compete directly with the NFL, which will be very good for their ratings in the final weeks.