MARKETING MIRAGE: New multi-color seats replace checkered flag look at Daytona International Speedway

Dale Earnhardt Jr lost in multi-colored seats at Daytona Int'l Speedway / Headline Surfer®Goodyear Blimp parked in New Smyrna Beach Airport for Speedweeks 2015 / Headline Surfer®Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is barely noticeable in a sea of multi-colored seats at Daytona International Speedway, part of the $400 million upgrade. While DIS is adding upwards of 100,000 new seats, the reality is the total number of seats coming out permanently before the 2016 racing season is 59,000, reducing overall seating from 160,000 to 101,000. With the Goodyear blimp shown here in this Headline Surfer® photo Saturday morning at New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport, the different color seats gives the impression that the seats are occupied.
 

 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Going by the way side is the black & white checkered flag seating at Daytona International Speedway, which has many fans have asking: Why are the new seats in all kinds of different bright colors? Reds, blues, yellows and whites?

Some have wondered if the different colors are for different prices? Nope!

Some have wondered if they are color-coded to represent racing team colors? Nope!

The answer is so very obvious: NASCAR and the Speedway, which really are one in the same -- both are controlled by the billionaire France Family -- Lesa France Kennedy, kid brother Brian France, Uncle Jim France and mama Betty Jane France -- to name a few of the principals, want to give the impression the seats are filled with paying customers.

For the most part since Dale Earnhardt was killed in the the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, sellouts have been few and far between, if at all in the interim since NASCAR doesn't announce attendance figures any more and hasn't for the better part of a decade now.

But with the Goodyear blimp hovering over the Speedway, it's hard to hide the fact that seats are not filled, even for signature races like the Daytona 500. So, bright-colored seats in reds, blues, yellows and whites, blend in more with clothes worn by the fans.

But with the Goodyear blimp hovering over the Speedway, it's hard to hide the fact that seats are not filled, even for signature races like the Daytona 500. So, bright-colored seats in reds, blues, yellows and whites, blend in more with clothes worn by the fans.

The new, wider plastic seats are part of the $400 million Daytona Rising, but with 59,000 seats to be permanently removed before the 2016 racing season, perhaps a more appropriate branding for the project could be "Daytona Shrinking."

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.