Ticket Demand for Daytona 500
Despite the excitement surrounding a rookie racing the heralded No. 3 car to the pole during qualifying and the anticipation of Matt Kenseth challenging the field for his third title in six years, 2014 Daytona 500 average ticket prices have fallen to an all-time low during Speedweek. This year's average ticket ($161) is down 18% from the 2013 Daytona 500, which drew an average of $197 per ticket on the resale market. In prior years, the race drew average ticket prices of $191 in 2012 and $203 in 2011. Part of the price drop can be attributed to the event's failure to sell out, with plenty of seats still available at the track's box office.
As of this Wednesday, the race is not close to being sold out in Daytona Beach. All of the cheapest seats have been sold (prices started at $32 per ticket), and those are up for sale on the secondary market starting at more than twice face value ($75 per ticket), but you can still find plenty of face value tickets at the online box office as low as $65 each in the Turn 2, Lund and Allison seating areas. For the most part, all tower and box seating near the finish line is sold out, but aside from those areas, you can find tickets from the box office anywhere around the track.
While the kickoff to the NASCAR season is generally heralded as the biggest car race in the country, it's taking a backseat to another recent race in the US. In comparison to the F1 United States Grand Prix in Austin, TX, this past November, which drew an average price of $290 for Sunday-only race tickets, secondary market prices for this year's Daytona 500 are 44% lower. It'll be interesting to see what these 2014 Daytona 500 ticket prices mean for the rest of the 2014 NASCAR season, but a great story about a conquering rookie like Austin Dillon, another championship run for Jimmie Johnson, or an exciting vault from the Budweiser Duels to victory lane could spark fan interest in a hurry.
2014 Daytona 500 Tickets
Future Plans for Daytona 500 Seating
Daytona International Speedway will be eliminating 45,000 seats (about a third of its current 146,000 capacity) by the 2016 Daytona 500 as part of a $400 million renovation of the main grandstands; the seats being removed are those in the backstretch grandstands (the Superstretch). Those seats remain empty for the most part except for the Daytona 500 and the Battle on the Beach, but with only about two-thirds of the current number of seats set to be available in future years, supply-and-demand dynamics could cause ticket prices to rise considerably in 2016 and beyond.
Daytona 500 Declining Ticket Prices
Demand is at an all-time low on the secondary ticket market for this year's race, and the average ticket price has fallen more than 30% in the last month from a peak of $238 per ticket on Jan. 20 to $161 today. In fact, with four days remaining, the race is not close to being sold out.
Even in seating areas that have sold out, there are great deals to be had on the secondary market. Campbell Box seats at the finish line had been going for about $450 apiece in late January, but they can be had today for $199 per ticket. Sprint Tower seats (only available from the box office as part of an $1,800 package including food and beverage, parking, gifts, celebrity appearances, and VIP pre-race access) that were commanding $700 and up per ticket a month ago now start at around $300 each.
Daytona 500 Highlights
NASCAR rookie Austin Dillon won the pole position for this year's race during qualifying, but no one has won the Daytona 500 from that spot on the starting grid since Jeff Gordon and Dale Jarrett took the checkered flag in 1999 and 2000, respectively.