NASCAR officers must be frightened.
In the event that they’re not, they’re asleep on the wheel and can sometime be lapped by Components 1 on this nation.
Should you don’t consider me, think about that Miami Dolphins billionaire proprietor Stephen Ross — whose subsidiary firm, South Florida Motorsports, is funding Sunday’s much-ballyhooed Miami Grand Prix — is poised to make as a lot cash in ticket gross sales for Miami’s inaugural F1 occasion than he makes throughout a complete season on Dolphins dwelling video games. The truth is, enterprise insiders say an financial influence of Tremendous Bowl-like proportions is being created this weekend with an estimated 300,000 followers, celebrities, vacationers and company executives converging on South Florida to drink, social gathering and watch smooth Mercedes and Ferraris buzz across the 3.4-mile monitor close to Exhausting Rock Stadium at speeds of greater than 200 mph.
I’m not saying that the Miami Grand Prix will get larger rankings than NASCAR’s Throwback Weekend at Darlington this Sunday when the 2 racing leagues go head-to-head on community TV (NASCAR is on Fox; Components 1 is on ABC), however that day could possibly be coming extra rapidly than NASCAR ever thought potential.
The rising recognition of F1 will be straight attributed to the wildly fashionable Netflix Sequence: Components 1: Drive to Survive — a present that has been described as a “soap-operatic docuseries” that offers viewers a behind-the-scenes take a look at F1 drivers, groups, vehicles and races.
Fairly frankly, F1 has grow to be internationally cool whereas NASCAR, though it’s evolving and making an attempt mightily to alter its picture, remains to be thought of by many to be the nice ol’ boy sport of the South.
The latest F1 race in Austin drew a document 400,000 followers, nearly 70% of whom had been first-time attendees. In the meantime, the Miami Grand Prix’s suite and pre-sale tickets had been bought out in lower than a day with the most cost effective ticket going for $600 and the costliest ones garnering $30,000 on the secondary market.
The Miami Grand Prix has grow to be such a mega-moneymaker that’s has transcended sports activities and is now being coated by enterprise publications. In response to the Sports activities Enterprise Journal, SeatGeek — a preferred on-line website for getting and promoting tickets — is reporting that the Miami Grand Prix is probably the most in-demand auto race it has ever tracked, with a median resale value of $2,414 per ticket as of final week.
If NASCAR’s Daytona 500 is “The Nice American Race” then the Miami Grand Prix is “The Nice American Phenomenon.”
In response to one other enterprise web site, CNBC, Miami’s high motels are charging greater than $100,0000 an evening for his or her high suites. Cooks are providing particular dinners for $3,000 a plate, and evening golf equipment are bringing in high DJs with tables going for as much as $100,000 an evening.
“That is going to be the most important week in Miami historical past,” mentioned Jeff Zalaznick, managing companion of Main Meals Group, which bought out its dinner on Miami Seaside at $3,000 per particular person. “We’ve by no means seen demand like this. It’s going to be a really hedonistic expertise.”
The factor is, F1 is just not solely luring within the wealthy jet-setters and exquisite folks, it’s capturing the eye of common sports activities followers, too. Living proof: Two of my finest buddies in Orlando have grow to be avid F1 followers due to Netflix.
Pat Lynch, an iconic rock and roll deejay at WJRR in Orlando, could be the most important sports activities fan I do know. This man watches each sport you’ll be able to think about on TV, and has at all times been an enormous NASCAR fan. However once I put him on the spot a few days in the past and requested if he’s an even bigger fan of NASCAR or F1, his response was telling.
“I’ve received to be trustworthy, I’m leaning towards F1,” Lynch responded. “The Netflix sequence pushed me excessive. I used to be simply type of an off-the-cuff F1 fan earlier than, however now I do know the names of the drivers, the groups and what goes into all this. It’s intriguing; it truly is.”
Marc Daniels, the longtime radio voice of UCF, tells the same story.
“My spouse and I’ve grow to be huge followers,” Daniels informed me the opposite day throughout our radio present. “Through the pandemic, my spouse and I flipped on Drive to Survive and received completely hooked. Now, we’re large followers. We each have our favourite crew, our favourite driver, I’ve purchased her F1 merchandise and now we’re trying to make a journey to Europe and to do it round with the ability to go to an F1 race. We had been trying to go to Miami this weekend, however the tickets we had been had been like $3,000 apiece. I used to be like, ‘Honey, I like you, however we ain’t doin’ that!”
It ought to come as no shock that NASCAR lately unveiled its personal Netflix docuseries — Race: Bubba Wallace — about Wallace’s journey as the game’s solely Black driver through the racially charged 2020-21 seasons.
Simply think about this the start of NASCAR’s personal drive to outlive as the game places the pedal to the steel, races into the longer term and tries to dam F1′s grasp plan of changing into the No. 1 choice in satisfying America’s want for pace.
E-mail me at [email protected]. Hit me up on Twitter @BianchiWrites and take heed to my Open Mike radio present each weekday from 6 to 9:30 a.m. on FM 96.9, AM 740 and HD 101.1-2