I don't like this. I know my attendance have declined the last few months but that's because the races are always in prime time party/movie night/SSBM tournament/whatever hours for me and having a job, girlfriend etc. just comes in the way a lot of the time. Adding to that, more than a few games were unavailable to me due to console exclusives etc. on nights I actually could join which was disappointing (but not on the organisers fault!)
I've really enjoyed RN because of several reasons. It has made me play through many sonic games and hacks I'd never play otherwise. It has helped me make friends and other contacts on TSC I'd probably wouldn't get to know otherwise such as FF or Mastakirby. It made me feel more motivated to be competitive and practise games I wouldn't against others who also just practised for that particular game.
Racenights won't be alive at least in the format it has been the last 2 years, but I definitely feel like the potential is still there. I do understand people being a bit bored of the format after about 100 racenights, same day, same time, same games. What we need is evolution, fresh ideas and more interactivity and flexibility. Some quick ideas I can throw out:
Mystery games: People don't know what game we're going to race until a few hours in advance. Should be reserved for games that are widely available rather than e.g. 06 that's console exclusive.
Flexible times: People joining the race should have a system for voting on starting time over the entire weekend, with a script calculating the most optimal time for everyone. Alternatively just make it sundays for gods sake :p!
Crew battles: People gather up in teams and their times are added up. The team with the shortest total time wins.
Monthly games: The same game is raced every week for a month. There's many ways of progressing from there; Biggest improvement, lowest added total time, adding your placement numbers and lowest # wins etc.
Afterparty: Online games after the races, other games/activities. Make it into a planned out all-night event.
TSC-stream: Every week a few people restream the top racers on the TSC twitch channel, preferably with some commentary. Could potentially be very revitalizing for the site.
The only reason RN's have been alive for as long as it has is because of the dedication of Flying Fox and Hypersonic7701. Letting it die now would be an enormous waste of potential. What we need is more volunteers, interactivity and fresh things to do.
Something I want to point out though; what I feel like was the absolute prime time for racenights was around 6-12 months in, during the winter/spring of 2012/13. We were a tight group of friends having a fun time, while playing games moderately fast. It was for me a highlight of my week to join the races even if I knew that I'd do bad. I feel the main reason it has deteriorated for me is the skype group, not the format itself. Also even if I do like everyone in the call, it's impossible to really enjoy yourself when 10 people try to talk at the same time. But this problem is the easiest to fix, I just wanted to point out that I think that the format of the skype group itself has been a very important part of letting this die for the moment.