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Piotr Pyszny

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  1. Piotr Pyszny

    Newcastle Diamonds 2021

    Exactly. If Newcastle's crowds have dropped as low as 350, closure is inevitable. In the North East, there are football clubs in the semi-pro Northern League attracting bigger audiences!
  2. Piotr Pyszny

    Newcastle Diamonds 2021

    With the attendances you quote, I don’t see how speedway at Newcastle’s level can be viable or sustainable as a professional sport. What other professional sport is played out to such a small audience?
  3. Piotr Pyszny

    Derwent Park Workington

    Of course, for a couple of decades, Carlisle did have its own semi-pro rugby league club, based first at Brunton Park then Gillford Park. Around the same time, the Carlisle & District Amateur Rugby League competition extended to two divisions.
  4. Piotr Pyszny

    Derwent Park Workington

    According to wiki, Workington Town RLFC’s highest league attendance in 2021 is 1,457. Encouraging to hear of plans for a track at Northside capable of hosting league racing. Best of luck to those involved.
  5. Piotr Pyszny

    Derwent Park Workington

    672 at Reds’ home game yesterday. Not bad for ‘Sunday League’. How many times did Comets get that many spectators through the turnstiles during their last season? Remind me how much the Workington Speedway promoter lost while running Comets. £750,000 in just six years, wasn’t it? Completely unsustainable.
  6. Piotr Pyszny


    Redcar (Middlesbrough, in all but name) is about the same driving time from York (on quieter roads, too). Scunthorpe's a little further. Both much better racetracks (purpose-built, you see) than Owlerton, where spectator viewing has been ruined by the loss of the first bend terrace (and the continued closure of the back straight terrace). Out of interest, over and above the 15 heats of racing, what additional entertainment would you be looking for?
  7. Piotr Pyszny

    Tracks visited but never seen a race

    Called in on Quibell Park in 2005. Still a very tidy little stadium in a leafy setting. The flat athletics track, on which the speedway circuit was laid (I've seen only video footage of racing there), is now synthetic. The outside banking was a velodrome-type circuit. It was still in situ in 2005.
  8. Piotr Pyszny

    Eastbourne 2020

    Come on, this happens in professional sport all the time! It's always the little guy who loses out. In the BBCRS interview, Jordan does say "everything" from 2021 will be "cleared up".
  9. Piotr Pyszny

    Eastbourne 2020

    You're being extremely generous, comparing favourably speedway's existing venues to second tier non-league football grounds. Are you suggesting (possibly the new, new Belle Vue apart) speedway offers facilities on a par with, say, AFC Fylde, Boston United, Curzon Ashton, Dartford, Hereford United, Kidderminster Harriers, Maidstone United or York City? Many speedway stadia - even the tidier, smarter ones - wouldn't look out of place in non-league football's third or fourth tiers!
  10. Piotr Pyszny

    Eastbourne 2020

    That sounds like the sort of thing grasstrack has been doing. Although, in grasstrack's case ('you don't need a specialist grasstrack bike to do grasstrack'), the aim is to increase participation rather than spectator attendance. Does 'solo' speedway in Australia still take place as part of a meeting featuring mixed motorsport disciplines? Maybe that's a route.
  11. Piotr Pyszny

    Eastbourne 2020

    Can you tell us what crowds you are getting, Barry? (I appreciate, unlike in many other sports, speedway's attendances have often been a closely guarded secret) Out of interest, what have the attendances been at Eastbourne this season?
  12. Piotr Pyszny

    Eastbourne 2020

    It is or was the same everywhere. In recent decades, stock cars and bangers have tended to pull in much bigger crowds than speedway. At Belle Vue, at Bradford, at Coventry, at Stoke, at Wimbledon etc. They did at Birmingham Wheels, long after the speedway finished. In my very limited experience, not at Sheffield. Don't know about Scunthorpe.
  13. Piotr Pyszny

    Why speedway is failing

    I've watched speedway since 1976 (at various tracks, as I've moved around the country) but hardly at all since 2008. Against your experience at Sittingbourne, I'll set my visit to Scunthorpe (versus Redcar) a couple of Fridays ago. It was only my second meeting in four years: Large car park (Scunthorpe charge a quid to use it - and always have, as far as I'm aware. I'm OK with that. They're not taking the Mickey) £17 admission (not cheap but it did include the programme, which was designed well enough for my speedway rookie wife, a solicitor, to fill in without any problems) Tidy little stadium whose facilities have improved greatly since my last visit, in 2008 Pretty sure there was a mascot (being child-free-by-choice, I have no interest in mascots or what they get up to) The meeting started on time, and the main match racing was finished in an hour-and-three-quarters (despite several riders given maximum time for 'two on the trot'). The riders were introduced (rode round without helmets, IIRC) Advice to drivers is to follow the Normanby Hall brown tourist road signs. Worked a treat No merchandise on sale (a personal speedway first - and the one black mark) The staff (starting with the guy on the turnstile) were smartly dressed and friendly Announcements and music clearly audible The stand we were in had lighting ( a little more would've been desirable) In the clubhouse, my tea was served in 15 seconds (I don't do sports stadia food but it seemed to be going out efficiently) Couldn't tell you about card payments in the clubhouse (although Scunthorpe have the option of buying match tickets online) I can't say I noticed a great deal of 'gardening'; the referee seemed keen to get on with things The racing was superb, with passing (inside and out) in various places in most races. Indeed, some attendees described the meeting as the best they'd ever seen An enthusiastic crowd, with plenty of away fans, made for a lively atmosphere There was a victory parade, which seemed to please the home contingent My wife described the spectacle as "engaging" and was keen to see speedway again (which we did, twice in the next week) Scunthorpe Speedway has a vast catchment area, including the northern half of Lincolnshire, Hull (reached easily via the Humber Bridge) and west towards Doncaster. We travelled from York (as had, bizarrely, the two people next to us). Should Scunthorpe be attracting more than 800 spectators? This experience, coupled with those - similarly positive - at Belle Vue and Redcar that followed, suggests it's not all doom and gloom. Incidentally, I've been to Kent Kings once, in 2017. I thought it was fine. Decent racing, decent crowd and decent (by speedway standards) facilities. Scunthorpe promoter Rob Godfrey seems to take a lot of flak but I'm struggling to find fault with the meeting we attended at his track. Why didn't he invite along Martin Goodwin? Tsk.
  14. Piotr Pyszny

    Other Museums

    Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life, Coatbridge, has a speedway exhibition, Cinder Kings (1950-77), running to the end of October 2021. It's billed as a celebration of speedway in Lanarkshire, at Coatbridge and Motherwell. Blurb: The exhibition features everything from bikes, equipment and badges to programmes, photos and magazines. You can also see items on display from legends, Bert Hawkins and Brian Collins. The exhibition is organised by the museum’s Learning Officer and the Speedway Memories Reminiscence group who have loaned their treasured possessions for the displays. The group meet at the museum on a monthly basis to talk all things speedway or watch films of past races. Booking required: https://summerlee-museum-of-scottish-industrial-life.arttickets.org.uk/summerlee-museum-of-industrial-life/2021-06-24-the-cinder-kings
  15. Piotr Pyszny

    Other Museums

    It's a few years since I visited, but the Black Country Living Museum at Dudley had an excellent display devoted to speedway (Cradley Heath and Wolverhampton, IIRC).

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