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1 hour ago, PHILIPRISING said:

WENBLEY lived on its history and tradition. Hardly a World class stadium at that time. Facilities including the toilets were appalling and I speak as someone who at the time also covered just about all the footy matches there.

Yes quite, but would you also describe Teterow and Hallstavik as world class stadiums? 

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2 minutes ago, uk_martin said:

Can anyone actually dig out a calendar, and put their finger on a date, at some point in time, when speedway was at it's "height"?

The sport is said to be in decline new, it was in decline in 1981, according to Phillip Rising. According to Rob McCaffrey the sport has been declining since 46 years ago (1972) and according to Moxey63 it was just as bad in the 1950's.

Just as a thought, the 1940's couldn't have been all that good either, what, with the war and all that.

So, if you plot this line of decline on a graph, where does it begin and how close to zero are we now?

how do you define decline? Number of clubs, riders, spectators, quality of the product? There are a reasonable number of clubs now but who's making a bean?

plus at no time in history have the nimbys been so vocal and powerful so the sport is being squeezed that way too

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Just now, ch958 said:

how do you define decline?

Ask 10 people and I suspect you will get 11 answers to that question.

To me it's a bit of two things. Firstly, from a "micro" perspective, it's what value do I gain out of following the sport, and on a "macro" perspective, it's about the standing of the sport within society, compared to other sports, and here you go from a sport that once touted itself as the second biggest spectator sport in the country to being one where 25% more people go to see Usain Bolt for 10 seconds than go for 3 hours of an SGP in Cardiff.

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10 hours ago, Gemini said:

I have always wondered why the 1981 World Final was looked upon as the best ever. Playing back the video (yes remember them?) :D confirms to me that apart from 3 or 4 races it was as boring and processional as all the rest.

It's the ultimate example of how folks look back and forget the dross.

If that meeting was a Grand Prix now it would be being slagged off.

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1 hour ago, Humphrey Appleby said:

Yes quite, but would you also describe Teterow and Hallstavik as world class stadiums? 

WHAT have they got to do with it? As usual you try and get in a dig about the SGP when there is no need. 

Even in the early 80s Wembley still had an aura, events staged there were instantly elevated in the public eye, the soccer pitch was superb, unlike most others in those days. But it's facilities for spectators were very poor, out-dated and in drastic need of renovation. 

Compared.to the Wembley of today it is of course chalk and cheese.

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20 minutes ago, PHILIPRISING said:

WHAT have they got to do with it? As usual you try and get in a dig about the SGP when there is no need. 

Even in the early 80s Wembley still had an aura, events staged there were instantly elevated in the public eye, the soccer pitch was superb, unlike most others in those days. But it's facilities for spectators were very poor, out-dated and in drastic need of renovation. 

Compared.to the Wembley of today it is of course chalk and cheese.

This thread concerns the state of British speedway, and therefore Ole Olsen's Flying Circus (or SGP as you prefer to call it) has EVERYTHING to do with where British Speedway is in 2018

Riders' costs and expectations have risen astronomically since the introduction of OOFC - and the expectations of the promoters and fans have changed too, there is a win-at-all-costs mentality nowadays which there never used to be in the "good old days" [yes, they were!]

In days gone by, the important thing was putting on a show for the customers, so that they'd come back next week and the week after - and the teams were THEIR teams, not a gathering of journeymen riders with guest numbers risen out of all proportion  

The "glamour" of OOFC is a major factor in the downturn in British Speedway

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2 minutes ago, Midland Red said:

This thread concerns the state of British speedway, and therefore Ole Olsen's Flying Circus (or SGP as you prefer to call it) has EVERYTHING to do with where British Speedway is in 2018

Riders' costs and expectations have risen astronomically since the introduction of OOFC - and the expectations of the promoters and fans have changed too, there is a win-at-all-costs mentality nowadays which there never used to be in the "good old days" [yes, they were!]

In days gone by, the important thing was putting on a show for the customers, so that they'd come back next week and the week after - and the teams were THEIR teams, not a gathering of journeymen riders with guest numbers risen out of all proportion  

The "glamour" of OOFC is a major factor in the downturn in British Speedway

You're clearly not keeping up with the general gist of the thread are you.

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The 1981 World Final WAS an amazing final. I was there. It's not just a case of looking on a sheet and counting passes. You can come away from a meeting with countless passes and not get the feeling that you got from that meeting.

I was there, and you came away with the feeling you had seen something special. It had what I guess you would call the X-Factor - that undefinable quality that made it special.

Penhall's races were possibly the only great races of the night, but is just had something that no other final I have been to has had (and I went to 3 at Wembley - all great events but there was just something that the Americans of that time injected into Speedway for that too brief time that gave it something extra that has been lacking since)

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26 minutes ago, BWitcher said:

You're clearly not keeping up with the general gist of the thread are you.

If you mean the decline in British Speedway, YES I AM

If you mean the 1981 World Final - to which the thread appears to have moved - NO I'M NOT

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2 minutes ago, Midland Red said:

If you mean the decline in British Speedway, YES I AM

Read the original post. Then read your post.

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39 minutes ago, Midland Red said:

If you mean the decline in British Speedway, YES I AM

If you mean the 1981 World Final - to which the thread appears to have moved - NO I'M NOT

Have a little think about why 1981 is being talked about.. reading the opening post might help.

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1 hour ago, BWitcher said:

It's the ultimate example of how folks look back and forget the dross.

If that meeting was a Grand Prix now it would be being slagged off.

Rightly or wrongly it was regarded as one of the best world finals at the time, nothing to do with looking back. You can look at it now on video and I agree, there are only a few good races but at the time it was the expectation, the hype, the massive crowd, Wembley, the atmosphere, the Penhall races and the Penhall factor. He was without doubt the biggest personality Speedway had and that coupled with the way he won and all of the other factors made it a fantastic and memorable experience for those of us who were there. I attended many World finals at Wembley and they were the only meetings where I always had butterflies in my stomach as I sat waiting for the meeting to start. Wembley finals were a fantastic experience regardless of the quality of the racing which never, ever, compared to what I regularly saw at Hyde Road but as an overall experience there was no comparison.

For those asking about the Speedway boom years. The 1930's, the immediate post war years, by far the biggest crowds speedway has ever attracted and 1965 to about 1980. Regardless of the number of tracks the sport has never attracted so few paying fans as it does currently. Even in what was regarded as the poor years of the late 1950's the 9 or 10 remaining tracks were attracting crowds that would now be regarded as massive.

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I would never argue that it wasn't a fantastic event to be at, I have always said that an average speedway meetings in front of a large crowd with a great atmosphere is better than a great meeting in front of a sparse crowd. Wembley and the size of the crowd, the names taking place and the prize at stake obviously amplified that many times over.

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11 hours ago, waiheke1 said:

the racing in most gps is better, in some cases significantly.

however it's unfair to say Wembley 81 was rubbish. it had

- two brilliant races which determined the destiny of the world final

- a line up that was arguably as strong as it could be given the inclusion of 5 continental riders. no riders missing who would have been genuine contenders

- a large crowd in a world class stadium, generating a fantastic atmosphere.

- drama of ef for three of the leading contenders. didn't change the likely winner, but certainly the other rostrum spots

I think it deserves its status as a legendary meeting, which goes also to show how the GPS (and SWC if BSI don't consign thst to the scrap hesp) have raised the standard of racing and ensured lineups which represent the worlds elite. but the gps will never generate the atmosphere that a one off final at Wembley did 

 

 

 

5 hours ago, steve roberts said:

Certainly wasn't rubbish. I went and for atmosphere it took some beating...which is one of the main ingredients for a speedway meeting. Certainly compared with Cardiff when I went some years back.

Maybe it was great to be at. But to watch it on Youtube/video/DVD and it's rubbish. Maybe it worked because it was promoted and presented well and people were actually fooled bt this into thinking the speedway was good? Maybe promoters these days need to replicate that.

If I was to show someone a video of great speedway I wouldn't pick the 1981 World Final, not by a long way.

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19 minutes ago, SCB said:

 

Maybe it was great to be at. But to watch it on Youtube/video/DVD and it's rubbish. Maybe it worked because it was promoted and presented well and people were actually fooled bt this into thinking the speedway was good? Maybe promoters these days need to replicate that.

If I was to show someone a video of great speedway I wouldn't pick the 1981 World Final, not by a long way.

The 20-odd minutes that were shown on TV the night of the final sold it as being a great meeting. We arguably have better racing nowadays,  but the sport itself is stook back in time, whereas other forms of entertainment progressed. 

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