Is Car Show Attendance Down?

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

It’s widely believed that the NFL, NBA and NASCAR are experiencing a decline in attendance at their games and races. According to Baseball Reference.com even teams like the New York Yankees are seeing a decline in the numbers of fans attending games. Several lower-level NBA teams experienced major drops in attendance and while the NFL still has the highest total revenue, it’s losing attendance every year.

Recently Mary and I attended two different car shows that, in the past, had huge fields of cars as well as large number of attendees. One 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 free but both had two major characteristics in common: A lack of cars and a lack of attendees both of which added to my lack on interest.

Yet 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  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 believes this is because of two factors:

Car owners increasingly have rejected the “sit around all day in the sun” car shows and like the low key, show up when you want and stay as long as you like feel of Cars & Coffee. They also seem to like what seems, to both of us, the more social aspects of these events.

Those same factors, I think, appeals to spectators along with the fact that 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 too, producing lots of tweets and Instagram posts about the show. For a great example of this, please check out Ken Nelson’s Instagram feed.

What do you think? First, do you agree that the number of attendees and well as cars exhibiting at traditional shows has gone down in recent years or is my perception limited to the shows that Mary and I attend. Second, if you have an opinion—either way—on this, let me know by clicking the Contact button above and tell me about it. I’ll compile some of the responses in a future post and the best response will win a nice prize.


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