NASCAR, Fanatics Trying To Find Middle Ground With Trackside Tents For Fans

Fanatics' trackside superstore tent has "been in storage" since merchandise trailers reappeared at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, according to Lee Spencer of MOTORSPORT.com.

The majority of NASCAR's traditional fan base "never embraced" Fanatics' traveling set-up that debuted last summer.

Some "found the fan-vendor experience a bit sterile," while others "felt the removal of the trailers diminished the midway feel fans had come to enjoy."

Dale Earnhardt Jr. said of the Fanatics tent, "We need to give it a little more time and see how the fans react. I think they love the haulers and they missed the haulers. A lot of the fans knew the vendors by name, and that was something lost on the tent experience."

He added, "Seems like the fans didn't really like the tent. I really wouldn't have either. When you have haulers scattered about, it creates a little more festive atmosphere, like a fairgrounds kind of atmosphere."

Spencer noted Fanatics "did its best to encourage fan interaction in the tent." NASCAR VP/Licensing & Consumer Products Blake Davidson said, "Some of the hardcore, avid fans that have been around the sport for a long time, really have a lot of nostalgia for the haulers.

"The younger fan coming out that is newer to the sport really enjoyed the shopping experience in the tent. We’re trying to find the sweet spot between all of that." Davidson said that NASCAR and Fanatics are "still reviewing numerous merchandise models moving forward." Versions of the haulers and kiosks will "still have a presence around the tracks." MOTORSPORT.com

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