There it is...people just don't care about this drag racing stuff at the levels that they used to. Things change and I think that the sport is more or less played out. It certainly is played out at the levels we knew years ago. Sure there are "Geezers" my age who are still in it and there are some younger folks in it big time now but that younger population can't sustain the sport as we knew it.
All the event programs are based on higher attendance levels. Something hadda give. What "gave" was the relatively lower prices we once knew. I don't think that it initially was the higher prices that caused lower attendance...it was lower attendance that cause higher prices IMHO.
Higher prices have not necessarily caused the lower attendance. My local track charges between $50-$60 for general admission tickets, depending on the day plus $10 for each seat in the grandstand or for track level standing area about 75 feet to the side, they do however have free parking. They sell out all 20,000+ seats on Friday and Sunday plus come close on Saturday. It's been that way for years.
However, at the divisional race which is always run the week prior it's a ghost town. They would be lucky to get a few hundred spectators and most of those are friends or family of racers. Those tickets start at $5 on Friday and are $20 for Saturday and Sunday. There are no parking restrictions, you can in drive and park anywhere on premises, the only restricted area is right next to the starting line, even the staging lanes are open to anyone. They don't just run NHRA class legal cars, they have classes for Pro Mods, top fuel Harley's, this year they even brought in big and small tire grudge style cars.
The typical fan has no interest in anything other than Top Fuel. All the talk about treatment of sportsman racers as the root of the problem is meaningless, all it takes is one look at the grandstands while they are running to figure that out. This last paragraph is not directed at anyone in particular, just that line of arguement that keeps coming up.