According to the BBC Sport website today the Government has announced that no professional sport, even behind closed doors, will be staged in England until 1 June at the earliest. The government has published a 50-page guidance document detailing how England will begin to ease lockdown measures. Step two of that plan - which will not be allowed to start before 1 June - includes "permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact. The document states that reopening venues that attract large crowds, such as sports grounds, "may only be fully possible significantly later depending on the reduction in numbers of infections".
It seems to me, therefore, that a resumption of speedway with crowds is unlikely for some considerable time, possibly not at all the season so I am putting these basic suggestions forward to see if our combined brains can come up with a way for speedway to restart. I am quite happy for the suggestions to be pulled apart and perhaps ridiculed as long as, between us, we can come up with something sensible. First I think that Speedway is a sport that can be held behind closed doors and that the necessary social distancing measurers can be put in place to protect riders, mechanics, officials etc. Even Rob Godfrey concedes this. The big question is where is the money going to come from to pay for this. Unlike most major spectator sports speedway relies mainly on income from spectators and sponsors. Assuming that the sponsors continue to sponsor then we would have to set up a system for televising meetings and asking fans to pay to watch on T.V. I think that all tracks have a firm that records meetings and sells the subsequent DVDs to fans. Could these companies do live streaming via YouTube or, if not, show an edited version a day or two later on YouTube? I would be quite willing to pay what I normally pay to watch live. To make things easier could we take a leaf out of football’s book and only use a few tracks that are owned by promoters like Scunthorpe, Redcar and Somerset or are on long leases like Leicester and Plymouth and who do not have too many restrictions on the number of meetings that can be held or which host other sports. All meetings could be held on these ‘neutral’ tracks with the proviso that no team races on its home track. If a recording system is used then several meetings could be held each day during daylight hours at each track thus reducing costs. Football for example is talking about holding three televised matches a day behind closed doors.
Over to you!