Thursday, April 30, 2009
TV Eyes Turning To Las Vegas For New Look Banquet
Now that NASCAR has made it official, plans are being formulated for the first post-season banquet week in Las Vegas, NV. NASCAR Chairman Brian France recently issued a statement on the move.
"I can't say enough about the warm reception from Las Vegas," said France. "Las Vegas really made it a priority to get the awards ceremony moved there. We were able to come to an agreement on reasonable room blocks, banquet facilities, and approvals to hold fan activities on the famous Las Vegas Strip."
France's comments suggest that the new look post-season activities may have little resemblance to the dated and scripted banquet televised each season on the ESPN networks. France himself seemed to show little interest in this function on TV and made cameo appearances that were painfully awkward.
Now, NASCAR has a blank canvas and seven months to get it painted. While that may seem like a lot of time, it is painfully short where both event planning and TV production are concerned. This is especially the case because of two small words in France's statement. They are "fan activities."
The biggest shift in the post-season party could be the inclusion of NASCAR fans. This season a trip to Las Vegas is more affordable than ever before and the potential exists to create an entirely new vibe for the drivers, teams and sponsors once the season is over.
TV viewers have seen the kind of blanket coverage SPEED has offered for the All-Star Race and other special events. ESPN has originated many NASCAR specials on-location at places like the Richard Petty museum, DEI headquarters and Daytona International Speedway. The potential exists to change the post-season TV coverage that has been a disaster since the new TV contract began in 2007.
Dreamers may look to large events like the X Games or the ESPY Awards. Realists may strive to preserve the tuxedos and the ballroom setting. In actuality, the opportunity to create a TV-friendly post-Homestead destination loaded with a combination of fan activities and team relaxation is very possible.
As we approach the halfway point in the season, it should be interesting to see what details start to emerge about the ideas being discussed for this first-time project.
Since TDP has luckily been able to get a great collection of NASCAR fans as readers, what are your suggestions for some post-season fun in Las Vegas? Tell us what you would like to see on TV for the awards ceremony and also what activities would get you interested in traveling to Las Vegas on December 4th?
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