Thursday, February 02, 2006

Attendance - Is it One or Two or Three

The way heads are counted at the CCWS events is confusing to say the least. I still am not sure how the attendance figures are arrived at.

When I buy a ticket for a three day event, am I counted three times?

When I buy a ticket for only race day, am I considered less than one or am I equal to one?

If I am given a ticket by a sponsor or some other benevolent group am I counted as one, two, three or zero because I didn't buy the ticket?

I haven't been to an event that does a turnstile count so there has to be another means of counting attendees. When Goodyear was in the series they commissioned a service to estimate attendance. There are crowd estimating services that use photography and base the number on density. How accurate can that be?

OK, does it even matter?

Well except for braggin' rights I suppose the count is most useful when it comes to sponsorship. I would think that sponsors or anyone looking to be a sponsor would like to know what they get for their advertising dollar. I'll bet they understand exactly what can be expected from a dollar investment in the series and it may not have as much to to with attendance as you might think. My guess is that the formulas for calculating advertising ROI include much more than attendance figures.

So what can we get from these convoluted attendance figures? Relativity - No not Einstein’s theory but the comparison of attendance from event to event or of an event year over year. So long as they continue to use the same method of counting heads the attendance numbers at least serve that purpose if no other.

Want to know what really counts? Monday morning when they open the cash register, they take out a dollar and guess counts as one, nothing but one, not two, not three, just one! Isn't it interesting how that works?


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