The 2018 move of the Brickyard 400 to September may not work as well as initially planned.
The Brickyard 400 is one of two NASCAR races in the fall of 2018 that has direct conflicts with home games of NFL teams. The Sep. 9 race starts at 2 p.m. ET and the NFL revealed Thursday night that the Indianapolis Colts will play a 1 p.m. ET home game that day.
It’s the first time the Brickyard 400 will be run in the fall. The race had been run at the end of July or the beginning of August ever since its inception in 1994.
“We’re confident in our ongoing efforts to refresh the event and engage with our fan base,” the track said in a statement. We knew this would happen one year or another when we made the switch and it doesn’t alter our approach or positive attitude. The cooler weather, a regular season championship to wrap up and our partnership with a major record label are some of several reasons to feel optimistic about the race.”
The race had a partnership with a major record label as the sponsor for last year’s race and it didn’t visibly do anything to impact attendance. One of the biggest reasons for moving the race to the fall has been the cratering attendance at the event. After sellouts in the first years of the race, attendance has precipitously dropped off over the past 10 seasons.
The Colts playing at home aren’t exactly going to help those attendance rejuvenation efforts.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway is just one of two tracks with direct conflicts with NFL teams in the same market. The Kansas City Chiefs are at home on Oct. 21, the same day the Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway. Otherwise the Carolina Panthers are off during the Charlotte race weekend, the Dallas Cowboys play on Monday night during Texas race weekend, the Arizona Cardinals are on the road during Phoenix race weekend and the Miami Dolphins are off during Homestead weekend.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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