Is Car Show Attendance Down?

The NFL, NBA and NASCAR are experiencing a decline in attendance. According to Baseball Reference.com even teams like the New York Yankees have seen a decline of fans per game. Several lower-level NBA teams had major drops in attendance. The NFL still has the highest total revenue, but is losing attendance each year.

Recently Mary and I attended two car shows that, in the past, had huge fields of cars as well as attendees. One non-charity-based show has a high ticket price and we were accosted by scammers on the parking lot pushing an obviously fake charity, certainly not an auspicious way to start a car show experience. The other show was a free show but both had characteristics in common: A lack of cars and a lack of attendees.

Yes, and I find it interesting that my local Cars & Coffee at The Vehicle Vault in Parker CO and the First Saturday Cars & Coffee in Colorado Springs and are full of interested spectators and lots of interesting cars. In fact. I see far more interesting cars at Cars & Coffee than I’ve seen lately at traditional car shows. Mary thinks this is because of two factors:

  • Car owners increasingly have rejected the “sit around all day in the sun” and like the low key, show up when you want and stay as long as you feel like plus the overall much more social aspects of Cars and Coffee events.
  • Those same aspects appeal to spectators along with the fact the events are free. We also see more young people at Cars & Coffee events than at traditional ”sit in the sun” car shows and I think this appeals to the social media aspects of these shows as well, with lots of tweets and Instagram posts about the show.

What do you think? First, do you agree that the number of attendees and well as cars exhibiting has gone down in recent years or is my perception limited to the shows I attend. Second, if you have an opinion—either way—on this, let me know by clicking the Contact button above. I’ll compile some of the responses in a future blog posts.