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mikebv

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Everything posted by mikebv

  1. mikebv

    NO WORD FROM THE BSPA

    Spot on... Losing 400 regular fans from 3000 isn't really noticeable... Lose 400 from 1200 and their absence is obvious and stark. Giving an irrefutable barometer of a fading entity... And when any business has that reputation it really is a huge uphill struggle to turn this view around.. Each track has its own 'tipping point' I would suggest whereby the atmosphere drops to a level that then becomes sterile and mundane enough for those still attending to consider "is it is really worth coming again next week"? The vicious circle of low crowds/poor atmosphere, poor atmosphere/even lower crowds, kicks in... And not too many clubs it seems have managed to break this vicious cycle sadly, with it appears almost all being currently going through it at varying degrees..
  2. mikebv

    NO WORD FROM THE BSPA

    I actually think the racing is at least as good as I have ever seen in the 49 years I have watched it.. The difference between all the riders on show is a lot less than it used to be in the days of '2 point reserves v World Champions', (particularly given that in every one of those races pre fixed gates, the 'World Champions' invariably chose the best gate positions!).... Machinery too is more of a similar standard than ever with even the 'lesser' riders using the best equipment and tuners. With only maybe those lads who ride in the top division in Poland having 'special kit' they wheel out on Sundays or Saturday nights in FIM events.. The biggest difference between 'then and now' is simply the lack of crowd, which means a lack of atmosphere.. No one will be surprised to see the racing at Cardiff will probably be nowhere near as good as an 'average' meeting at the NSS. How could it be? The NSS is a fantastic race track... However a full night of entertainment, on and off track, in front of 40,000 fans rather than just 1,000, will have everyone on the edge of their seats regardless of the fans' subjective opinion of the racing...... Even the 'worst track', delivering the 'worst racing' can be successful if 5,000 a night are there and the 'event' delivers the overall entertainment level that they want from their 'night out'... To digress a moment Craig Cook has said in this weeks Speedway Star he has invested "well over £100,000" in this season's racing... Yes, you read it correct. That's ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND pounds.....!! And if Craig is doing this, to compete with him (and to keep those machinery standards similar that so assists close racing), many, many others (even non GP riders) must be spending incredible amounts too.... THAT I would suggest is a far, far bigger problem for British Speedway than the current state of some tracks...
  3. I cannot help noticing a certain irony in a Swindon fan mentioning team changes and winning leagues through them.. *cough* Tobiasz Musielak *cough* A fine local lad who came up through the Sprockets I presume?... If Speedway wants to be taken seriously as a team sport then winning has to be the ultimate attainment.. And if you are not doing enough of it, then you either improve the performance of your current personnel or you change them....
  4. mikebv

    NO WORD FROM THE BSPA

    Spot on... You simply don't have a real team dynamic anymore in Britain, constantly eroded away over the past 20 years or so... So how the hell does British Speedway expect any new fans to 'buy into it' without that vital emotional attachment you need to develop to make a team 'yours'?... And why therefore, do they still try to 'sell it' to the populace as such?... The Sport over here, and to be fair, elsewhere too, is just a vehicle for lads to earn money individually (the difference is other countries still stick to team sport principles within those parameters which has helped fans stay 'attached').... What should be focused on is the fact that the Sport still has loads going for it to make it a success.... It seemingly just cannot be delivered successfully within a team framework over here.. Therefore, stop doing it and simply sell what is good about it.. ie. The racing itself, the noise, the speed, the smell (ish), the character and personality of the riders, the fact it is unique amongst all other 'town/city centre Sports, and the fact that those who watch invariably cannot do what they are watching the riders do. (Unlike other sports where most fans who watch can demonstrate at least some competence at it).. Make it a full night's entertainment, make the night an 'event', promote and market the riders, create a bit of hype about them individually, create 'feuds' (they don't need to be genuine), advertise a huge prize fund, (even if a little economical with the truth)... Make the riders 'stars', build the sport back up, and maybe over time intergrate in a team dynamic to see if it can be a success again.. The Sport has so much going for it... So surely its now time for the Promoters (who willingly invest so much into it) to concentrate their efforts on what is good about Speedway, dispense with all the ridiculous 'nonsense' that so undermines their genuine commitment and efforts, and start to deliver the kind of success a Sport, that can truly be uniquely breathtaking, should be delivering...
  5. But on the plus side.... If your telly went 'pop', you wouldnt have to buy a new one, you could simply borrow any of your neighbours' TV's every time you wanted to play... (And they might have a better telly than you so you'd actually be better off)... But you could only play every third or fourth week obviously. (Oh! And only on a Monday or a Wednesday)...
  6. A big opportunity this... As the beauty of Speedway of course is that most of the fans there will have attended the very first meeting too...
  7. mikebv

    NO WORD FROM THE BSPA

    Bingo!! I am prepared to go to £15 though... And my 15 yr old lad in for free obviously...
  8. mikebv

    NO WORD FROM THE BSPA

    I have seen Speedway in America and it was a great night out... From sidecars to kids speedway racing, all the way through to the 'headliners'... I watched Ryan Fisher at aged 11 or 12 (him sadly not me!), blitz much older lads from a handicap of 30m and the crowd were going mental, latching on to one so young beating his peers.. I watched Dan Bewley last year in the Colts and one particular night he blitzed all the other riders and won every race by 30 - 40m. For the first two rides you were (as a seasoned watcher of the Sport) taken aback by how good this kid was.... However, by the third time you had watched him leave the rest for dead it got a little bit tedious and you longed for one of the others to at least give him a race... If someone else who had no appreciation of the Sport was there, they would have watched all his races with complete indifference I would have said.. Putting Dan off 30 or 40m that night though would have had everyone there on the edge of their seats I would suggest as he fought his way through the field... Maybe it is time for a few individual meetings to liven up the Sport?.. Handicap racing? 'Devil take the hindmost'? Speed trap award for fastest MPH at a certain point of the track? Two Riders starting via lights at opposite sides of the track like in velodrome cycle racing eg Bewley and Cook at the NSS would split the fanbase too and maybe have the fans shouting on their favourites creating some atmosphere!? Maybe Sidecars? Kids racing? 8 man races with two starting gates? and off track entertainment too, the usual bouncy castles, face painting, fanzone, photo ops, poster giveaways etc, etc, (basically lots aimed at kids).... Even raffle off tickets for the next 'Team' meeting' and flog some discounted tickets if the crowd is healthy... Run the scratch event maybe nationally with points being earned through the year track to track with a BIG final at the end of the year (with a BIG prize) for those who qualified.. The level of rider on show would stretch from heat leader to junior I would suggest, particularly if the handicap racing is to deliver... In short, the Sport when done really well is a cracking night out, and has all the ingredients for any 'layperson' to find entertaining.... It's current crowds are pitiful... But given the 'raw materials' it has to work with, they really shouldn't be....
  9. mikebv

    NO WORD FROM THE BSPA

    That really is the final inevitable end game though Dean... And let's be honest, 'Team Speedway' is now a misnomer in GB (and maybe everywhere?).. It's just an avenue for riders to earn money riding all over Europe and no more than that.. How many times do riders get interviewed on TV and get asked about the score line and they haven't actually got a clue as to what the score is? During interviews that seems to ask more questions about their next individual meeting than the actual meeting they are in that night!!... Cook and Harris say they cannot make ends meet without racing in more than one team over here, and I don't dispute that as these are the lads 'living the dream'... Unfortunately, no matter how you desperately try and ensure none of their teams are effected by clashes, it will be inevitable. So fans will suffer, and the actual credibility of the match they miss will suffer too, which ultimately then means the League itself suffers from a lack of credibilty... (Therefore who cares who wins it?) Surely therefore it would be better for these lads financially to ride five or six times a week individually at different tracks? At least the events the tracks put on will have credibility, no guests, no R/R, on nights that they want to open to bring in the best crowds.. 26 Venues could deliver a lot of Speedway over a season to a lot of riders... The bottom line is a simple one though.. If you cannot run 'Team Speedway' properly then you are better off not running it at all as you can 100% NEVER make it successful.. And you can never run it properly if riders cannot make it pay representing one club like a 'proper' team Sport would allow.... And you can never run it properly with riders having to regularly miss their teams' matches to ride individually elsewhere.. Surely its got to be better for the actual growth and success of the Sport overall (and the riders too), to have the Sport looking professional, running it with credibility, and delivering to the fans what their expectations of a 'proper' Sport is...? Rather than the current cobbled together adhoc operating model, masquerading itself as a bona fide 'Team Sport' concept... An operating model that does absolutely no one (Promoters, Riders, Fans and the actual Sport itself), any good at all... (And never can or will)...
  10. mikebv

    NO WORD FROM THE BSPA

    No I wouldn't be prepared to watch teams full of guests... But then again I shouldn't need to... There are enough dates available to work around all the FIM fixtures which are put out well in advance.. 14 home matches in a 28 week season isn't really too difficult to plan in I would suggest... As for the TV deal? Running the odd Monday (if TV cannot change their schedule) would mean the usual impact to crowds but it did that anyway... 12 meetings at weekend and 2 TV meetings on a Monday is far better than 14 Mondays....
  11. mikebv

    NO WORD FROM THE BSPA

    One Million Per Cent. I have been once this year due to Monday racing.. I know of three others who have been possibly to one more meeting than me due to Monday racing... And we are nowhere near alone... Literally hundreds are not attending due to losing Friday and Saturday.. Not a major issue if you average 10,000 I would say... It is however when you are dropping from 1500 or so to below 1000... A very major issue... And the longer it goes on, the longer the disconnect... And the easier it is therefore to not bother at all in the future.. Like so many thousands and thousands have found over the past 20 years of so...
  12. mikebv

    NO WORD FROM THE BSPA

    The average worker, who is self employed, has a decision to make whether purchasing the equipment to do their jobs will deliver profit to them. Speedway riders should be no different.. The levels of danger for any job unfortunately don't usually equate to an expected salary otherwise the armed forces and the fire brigade would get £300k a week and footballers would earn £500 a week.. Simply the sport pays out ludicrous amounts in relation to it's fan base levels.. Basketball and Ice Hockey in GB have crowds that some Speedway teams would be more than pleased to get but won't be paying out thousands a night to individuals... The Sport is fast approaching it's nadir and reality will need to kick in, if it hasn't already.. Riders spending £10k to £20k or so on kit to compete will simply have to stop doing it.. I am sure riders like Dean Felton, Jon Armstrong and Tony Atkin for example could show lads how to maintain competitive equipment without breaking their bank accounts or requesting thousands off their promoters to pay for new gear all the time.. I remember PC ( as well as other top riders) often winning races when having to use a team mates bike when they had mechanical issues, PC even used reserves bikes sometimes.. Amazingly the reserves bikes suddenly were 'rocket ships' in the hands of the very best.. As we often see, it really isn't the thousands spent on the bike that makes the difference but the rider riding it.. As costs escalate and riders try to out do each other by spending more (and therefore requesting more), it really will be a race to the bottom which no one will get any satisfaction winning... Reality needs to kick in, and very, very quickly..
  13. mikebv

    NO WORD FROM THE BSPA

    Imagine spending money on advertising and gaining sponsorship for this match? Then having the rug pulled from under you for no apparent reason that either team is responsible for? We fans often criticise promotions for not promoting, but truly, what would be the point of doing so when, on a whim, fixtures can simply 'dissappear'?
  14. mikebv

    NO WORD FROM THE BSPA

    You can still get paid a 'lot of money' per night riding Speedway in GB.. I am sure alluding to my previous post re £900 a night twice a week you would get plenty of riders from around GB wanting to take you up on the deal.. And that is for 'Mr Average/semi pro/middle order man' don't forget.. Both teams paid in full on the night by balance transfer (Internet banking is available!). No cash in the account to pay, then no running the meeting... Start with five man teams then build up the number if income allows.. If you can get foreign riders over then great (but it must be viable).. Run 25 home and away meetings minimum so 'Mr Average/semi pro/middle order man' gets himself circa £45k.. Pro rata per annum £90k for six months work... Not bad money that...
  15. mikebv

    NO WORD FROM THE BSPA

    And has been for many, many years.. All in charge of tiny, tiny fiefdoms... Many acting with ignorance (or design) in 'splendid isolation', to keep their level of (in their own eyes only) importance at the required level... Who knows?.. Maybe Green Helmet covers are coming back and that will be the sports saviour? (But they don't want to officially announce it yet as they have set up a 'think tank' to decide on what particular shade of Green will be allowed)...
  16. mikebv

    NO WORD FROM THE BSPA

    "Doing exactly the same thing over and over again and each time expecting a different result" - The definition of insanity... For circa the past 15 years or so in particular (via the onset of Social Media) those who purport to run the Sport have been told to stop doing certain fundamental things, and start doing certain other fundamental things, over and over again by the fans as we believed it could only end up one way if they carried on with their 'plans'... So actually maybe we are as insane for doing the same thing over and over again thinking they would listen and change?? Without going through 'all our yesterdays/I remember when this was all fields' etc etc Speedway used to 'work'... And in the main when it 'worked' you had some top riders who were fully professional with the vast majority of riders semi pro (and lots of lads coming through at 'entry level' dreaming of stardom and riches).. Those semi pro riders were very happy earning what some described as a months money from their "proper job" every week by riding Speedway... This, although a bit 'back to the future', surely has to be the target for promoters? Riders riding twice a week, home and away, earning an average of say £900 a night? That would bring in £7200 a Month for 'Mr. Average'? The average wage in Britain is £524 per week, I would suggest therefore that £1800 a week not a bad return at all? Spend £4.5k a night on a five man team and you need £9k to be cleared from your home meeting to pay the rider bill. 1000 punters paying £15 after vat would clear £12k.. £7200 a month for 'Mr Average'? With the deal of 'be there EVERY meeting/take it or leave it'.. Feasible? Anyway, back on topic.. Of course we may be missing something ourselves and that the reason why no news has been forthcoming is that there is nothing to report.. Because everything is fine...!
  17. To back this up... There used to be loads of stewards at the NSS when it first opened... One stood on every stairwell on the South Side and one stood at every stairwell in the Grandstand.. I would say that there are at least 75% less now.... Crowds have dropped by around 40-50% in that time I would say but the stadium (apart from the west stand of about 200 people) is the same size.. If its seats being 'stewarded' then surely there should be the same amount of stewards still covering the Grandstand? Maybe being a council owned facilty the cost of stewarding the place was reduced as part of the take over by the current promoters? If so, it would suggest it is indeed more a guideline than an instruction...
  18. When the track is wet and grippy the first half a dozen or so races are pretty much from the gate.. Fast. (In fact too fast).. Let's hope for no rain and the only water applied is by the track staff who do a great job of the track prep..
  19. mikebv

    Jonathan Chapman - It's Your Time

    Maybe even those who have delivered the Sport to where we are have finally, after twenty or so years of nonsense, realised that their operating model, (which as a collective they are 100% responsible for), is boll.... (not very good)... Or maybe not getting the Sky Money any more to mask the nonsense put in front of the fans for far too long has focused their attention?? Either way, now they may actually start to listen to ideas from 'outsiders', eg the likes of Glasgow and Belle Vue (and of course the fans)...
  20. No argument being made, just an observation... Another observation, nay, irrefutable fact, is that there are globally more Speedway riders (and of the required calibre), not riding over here than currently do... And yet, some say, there are not enough riders to run the Sport properly? Again, how strange? .
  21. So many rider changes? Yet there isn't enough riders to run the Sport properly?? All very strange..
  22. mikebv

    Jonathan Chapman - It's Your Time

    Spot on.. All to try and win a competition that by the very way it is ran (with teams sharing out lads week in week out and such sharp practice as you allude to), delivers absolutely zero kudos to the victor... I've got an idea... Why dont you spend a fortune trying to desperately win something that by your very actions you end up destroying any achievement in winning? (And then expect people in their thousands to pay you money to see you do it)... Couldn't make it up could you?
  23. mikebv

    NO WORD FROM THE BSPA

    No money to pay for professional marketeers.... Yet literally MILLIONS paid out collectively EVERY season to riders across the sport in Britain... Riders whose names resonate with hardly anyone on their very doorstep locally let alone nationally.. Riders whose names, whether there or not, bring hardly anyone extra to the meeting.. Pay BIG money to a proper marketing company to try and make these guys household names... Then pay them the BIG money when (if) it works...
  24. mikebv

    NO WORD FROM THE BSPA

    Honestly, don't go there. . For many Promoters they would be scared stiff of giving a 'regular' a half price ticket than seeing any potential of bringing back so many 'ex fans' of theirs... Believe me, I have had those coversations... You are 100% correct by the way. It's a captured market at Cardiff which provides (if nothing else) a huge chance to engage in conversations with the largest gathering anywhere of British Speedway fans.. Maybe ascertaining 'from the horses mouths' as to why so many will spend hundreds of pounds and travel hundreds of miles, for several hours, attending that very event, but not see attending their local track as a 'must do'... Got to be worth it surely? Direct feedback from your own customer and ex customer base? And for what it's worth (very little I am sure).. Here is my feedback. . It costs £29 for me and my 15 year old lad to sit and watch a British League match at the NSS. And never quite know up till start time which random collection of riders have rocked up that night.. It costs me just £9 more to do the same at Cardiff with everyone programmed turning up unless injured during practice in the hours before.. With a much better overall collective of riders on view too... And on a SATURDAY not a MONDAY as well.. So in short, get the Price Point right, get the credibilty right, and do it all on a night conducive to attracting a crowd.. Who knows, do that and you may be more successful..?
  25. mikebv

    NO WORD FROM THE BSPA

    I would think there are 20,000 absolute max who attend Speedway 'regularly' each week.. I would also suggest that next week in Cardiff there could well be more fans there who no longer attend domestic British Speedway regularly than those who actually do. (Or not far off it).. Maybe that is something that the BSPA could ponder and reflect on as to why.?
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