Feels like NASCAR has been in the news all summer. They say any press is good press, but with this, I’m not so sure. NASCAR has single-handedly destroyed an entire industry without even as much as blinking an eye.
With the news of the upcoming “All-Star Race” in Bristol rapidly approaching… actually, let’s take a moment to dwell on the fact that there is actually an “All-Star Race” in NASCAR. Consider me today years old when I found this out. I have a few questions:
- Do NASCAR fans vote for their favorite driver?
- Wouldn’t everyone just vote for Jeff Gordon?
- Is there a committee to select who gets to race?
- Does anyone NOT get invited to the All-Star Race?
- Will they institute new rules for the All-Star Race like the NBA did for the “All-Star Game?”
- They still just drive around the track? Oh.
BUT, the fact that NASCAR has an “All-Star Race” is not the most devastating news to come out of Bristol. And I know what you are probably thinking: it must have something to do with the fact that 30,000 people are potentially gathering for the first time since the beginning of March at any sporting event in the United States. No, not that either. It was this:
Food and souvenir purchases can’t be made with cash, and tickets are being sold digitally.
If we, as a society, are embarking into what will be considered “the new normal” and that new “the new normal” does NOT include actual event tickets, then that, quite frankly, is where I draw the line. Forget wearing masks. Forget social distancing. Just give me my ticket stub. How will I ever remember that I was at said event if I don’t have a ticket? How would I remember how bad my seats were? How would I ever be able to prove to my future kids that I was cool by attending a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert?
NASCAR has effectively lit the fuse to destroying the ticket collecting industry all together with a move like this. You could already sort of see this cataclysmic type shift away from the actual novelty ticket stubs – ones that usually featured a particular athlete or logo that every kid would proceed to hang up on a bulletin board or keep in a box under their bed. Wait nobody else did that? Just me?
The introduction of shitty DIY printer paper tickets with the barcode was the beginning of the end for novelty tickets. The only way you can make paper tickets cool is if you have a color printer. “Hey, I just paid $90 to go see a hockey game from the nosebleeds so here is my shitty piece of printer paper that let’s me get in the door.” Nobody wants to collect a shitty piece of printer paper (unless it’s color). More recently, we have seen venues and stadiums alike move even further away from the DIY printer paper tickets with the introduction of tickets on your phone. So imagine yourself not only attending a NASCAR “All-Star Race,” but not even having the novelty ticket stub to back it up that you were there. I know that is something I could NOT imagine. The DIY printer paper tickets at least gave the ticket some sort of meaning and purpose. Now the best we can do is screenshot it and never look at it again.
My heart goes out to all ticket collectors worldwide. It’s truly a dying breed. I guess if you want to look on the bright side, the otherwise worthless pieces of paper that we’ve been holding onto for no reason could actually gain some sort of inherit value. It’ll become a collector’s item before we know it, because all we have now is a screenshot lost in our photo album.
There’s already plenty of rare tickets out there for sale like this 2000 World Series Yankees Mets Game 4 ticket for the low, low price of $350 (USD). I am doing everything in my power not to pull the trigger on that ticket for my collection. Only $350 to have a piece of the 3-2 Yankees victory in Shea Stadium?! If you wanted the Series clinching Game 5 ticket you would need at least…. $351 for that.
Ticket collectors: another highly unfortunate victim to the virus we’ve been calling corona. Forget restaurants and bars, ticket collectors have been absolutely devastated. May the Modern Day Ticket Collector live on in infamy and in our hearts. They will not be forgotten.
If you or a loved one reading this post had no idea that people collected sporting event/concert tickets please direct them to this link: