There was a healthy crowd on hand at Las Vegas last weekend.  The stands were probably 80%-85% full.

Yet, there are plenty of cynics standing by to correct those of us who called it a good crowd.  They're quick to point out that the stands between turns three and four were covered with a large tarp that saluted the military.

Let's get one thing straight.  Times have changed.  When times were good and NASCAR was in a huge growth mode, tracks over-built.  Or, if you prefer, built with the assumption that the good times would keep on rolling.

Since then the economy has changed, and the customer experience has changed.  Now that you can watch every race on your big screen HD TV with surround sound, those seats in the turns or down the backstretch that were fine when it was the only way you could experience the races, are no longer acceptable.

And, how many times do I have to tell you that it's not just NASCAR.  It's the entire sports landscape.  When was the last time a baseball team tore down seats that weren't being used?  Every time they move out of one of those multi-purpose stadiums.  Nearly every Major League Baseball team has a smaller seating capacity than they had 20 years ago. 

What we saw in Las Vegas is the new normal.  If it's better than that, embrace it; to paraphrase Bob Dylan, the times they are a changed.