I might be alone in this, but I’m not among those excited the end of season banquet will be relocated to Las Vegas.
I know New York didn’t care if NASCAR was there for one week a year. I’m also aware hotel rooms are very expensive in New York City. And I know increasingly the city was impeding the celebration.
But none of that is the point of the banquet. It is a time for everyone to get dressed up, get drunk and celebrate the season that just concluded. It is a chance for everyone to congratulate the champion and for the champion to have his moment in the sun, even if New York isn’t (or I guess wasn’t) paying attention.
Now I like Las Vegas just fine. I’m not a big gambler but there are plenty of other things to do there. If nothing else it is a great place to sit and people watch.
The city provides a great infrastructure and facilities that are second to none. And there is no doubt they will push and support the event like no other city would. In fact it looks like the city is tentatively even paying NASCAR six to seven figures to relocate the event there.
I suppose though that is where my problem lies. I see NASCAR relocating the banquet as the gateway for them to turn it into another money making event. I see them selling tickets and turning it into even more of a TV spectacle than it already is.
The idea of fans in the mezzanine of a ballroom booing the champion or any driver in the top-10 as they go to the stage to make their speech makes me nauseous. While I appreciate and respect the passion of fans, this is neither the time nor the place for that sort of thing (and we all know it would happen).
I have always enjoyed the banquet. I think NASCAR usually does a nice job with it. But I don’t think it is another event for them to prostitute-out for a little money (or a little more money). It really just cheapens the championship and the celebration. I hope the move to Vegas is strictly an event relocation and nothing else.
As always it’s now your turn. What do you think? Do you think Vegas will be a good venue for the banquet? Would you buy tickets to see the banquet?