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1 hour ago, New Science said:

Interesting to read Laura Morgan's interview in this weeks Speedway Star. The Workington promotion went to a local show to promote their club locally , handing out over 3000 free entry tickets for the following nights speedway. 300 take up that offer, not bad, Workington then put another offer on for the newbies with £10 entry to the next fixture, 100 out of the 300 take that up, the next week without any offers all the free entry fans are nowhere to be seen, in Laura's words what can you do ?  It may be a bit controversial but is the core product good enough ? because current fans are leaving the sport, and in this case new fans are choosing not to return. Speedway is down to its diehards, many of who will watch anything. Diehards say there's nothing wrong with the racing but that's the reason I've stopped going, others I stand with are the same, I was going more for a social than the speedway. There's only Belle Vue in the top division, with their purpose built track that I would now attend every week if I lived in that area.  Sadly it seems speedway in Britain is slowly dying a slow death, less fans , weaker teams, pennies for a TV deal and no major sponsors . sad  but true

...I was the same when during the last three years or so of attending before re-locating. It was meeting up with friends to have a good chat but unfortunately those friends started to diminish as they lost interest in the sport or other commitments took up their time.

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45 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

...I was the same when during the last three years or so of attending before re-locating. It was meeting up with friends to have a good chat but unfortunately those friends started to diminish as they lost interest in the sport or other commitments took up their time.

Exactly.

Except that was a long time ago, so the point stands, the racing isn't the cause. It's the gradual decline in crowds due to lost fans due to natural wastage not being replaced by new ones. As the crowd dwindles, the atmosphere dwindles, the same race seems less exciting.. any newcomer is greeted by a less good atmosphere and doesn't get hooked into it.

 

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1 hour ago, Stoke Potter said:

No, it is not. 
The Workington promotion have effectively done some market research and proven that point.
The answer to the question "What can you do?" is:  Improve the racing.

They need to draw the correct conclusions from the market research.

Really.

Remind me what has changed in the 'core product' of Darts. 

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Tbf the core product hasn't changed but the standard of the darts players has gone up massively overall whereas the standard in speedway has gone down. Massively

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13 hours ago, steve roberts said:

It may be a bit controversial but is the core product good enough ?

Controversial it may be but a goodly number of those who have walked away have done so for that reason - the racing is a poor standard compared to even 15 - 20 years ago ( never mind 40 years ago ). And that is not a view through my rose tinted glasses.  First away ( or out of the second bend ) and the vast majority of races are over. Newbies are not into the subtleties of speedway and are not likely to be impressed by what is now "speedway chasing". I am close to walking away for that and other reasons and will certainly pick my matches this season.

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14 hours ago, BWitcher said:

Exactly.

Except that was a long time ago, so the point stands, the racing isn't the cause. It's the gradual decline in crowds due to lost fans due to natural wastage not being replaced by new ones. As the crowd dwindles, the atmosphere dwindles, the same race seems less exciting.. any newcomer is greeted by a less good atmosphere and doesn't get hooked into it.

 

That's the reality of the situation and the fundamental issue the Sport faces..

If you attended the NSS for your first meeting, and Cardiff for your second, you would find watching racing at the NSS is a million miles better than the racing at Cardiff, yet watching the 'greatest race ever' at the NSS with around 1000 others, will not generate anything like the same passion, emotion and atmosphere that a Craig Cook 'mundane' tapes to tapes victory at Cardiff would bring with 40,000 alongside you...

As Workington have tried and proved, there simply isn't the take up for the Sport at its 'normal' current admission costs, so sadly you will never deliver those 'big crowds' anymore..

And, as it would seem, these admission costs won't come down anytime in the near future, then the simple truth is that there is no way forward for the Sport in its current guise in this Country....

Which is a shame as it can be a fantastic nights entertainment

(When done well, with credibility)...

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3 hours ago, waytogo28 said:

Controversial it may be but a goodly number of those who have walked away have done so for that reason - the racing is a poor standard compared to even 15 - 20 years ago ( never mind 40 years ago ). And that is not a view through my rose tinted glasses.  First away ( or out of the second bend ) and the vast majority of races are over. Newbies are not into the subtleties of speedway and are not likely to be impressed by what is now "speedway chasing". I am close to walking away for that and other reasons and will certainly pick my matches this season.

Sorry but thats rubbish. I started paying attention properly to the sport about 20-odd years about (1997 when Newport re-opened) and the sport is as exciting now as it was then. And having sat and watched a lot of stuff on youtube, video and DVD I assure you the sport was absolutely not any more exciting 40 years ago. What the sport did have 40 years ago that it has very few of today in characters, riders who'd go up to the referees box, or strop over to the phone by the start line. They're gone mostly because the sport is no so professional. Gone are the days of being able to go in the bar and get pissed up with the Americans who everyone loved but if you want to be a half decent rider you can't get drunk in the bar and if you were seen getting drunk in the bar fans would complain its not professional.

The standard of racing is no different now than it has been in any era, ever - well certainly any era that has been recorded.

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Having just read the published 2018 rules I see that there seems to be no effort to stop time wasting on a tape infringement and restart.  There is no rule stopping the pit gates being opened and mechanics adjusting the bike or topping up the fuel rather than getting the riders straight back to the start for the rerun.  This lack of speeding up the meeting will turn more fans away from speedway and not give a good impression on tv to any new possible fan.  

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39 minutes ago, A ORLOV said:

Having just read the published 2018 rules I see that there seems to be no effort to stop time wasting on a tape infringement and restart.  There is no rule stopping the pit gates being opened and mechanics adjusting the bike or topping up the fuel rather than getting the riders straight back to the start for the rerun.  This lack of speeding up the meeting will turn more fans away from speedway and not give a good impression on tv to any new possible fan.  

Riders must remain astride (in bold no less) their motorcycles while preparing their start areas.

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Posted (edited)

Let's face it well over half the meeting is all about time wasting. How often do we see 4 riders coming up towards the tapes when one will turn round and do a scenic tour of the track often back to the third bend only to see him return and then another will decide to turn back. As they finally get in position at the start after much faffing around the tapes go up -- a false start they call a rerun and then the pit gates open and the whole saga starts once more. Often rain is forecast later in the evening and with all this time wasting the rain eventually reaches the track, eventually after more time wasting the meeting is either called or postponed, then they wonder why the crowds get smaller.

I realise that without all this time wasting the meetings would be over in 45 minutes, but sometimes this time wasting get excessive and it just becomes one whole farce, at around admission for around £15 a head this does not appear value for money.

Edited by mike1944
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15 hours ago, bruno said:

Tbf the core product hasn't changed but the standard of the darts players has gone up massively overall whereas the standard in speedway has gone down. Massively

Id disagree with that 100%, in my opinion the riding standard today is the highest I have seen since I first watched in the 60's. Modern day riders do things on the bike that their forebears couldn't have imagined doing, some of that is down to bikes and tracks but they still have to be the ones doing it.

Not only the that but the commitment of the majority riders to each race is higher as well in my opinion.

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I read this debate with interest.

I followed Peterborough home and away from the seventies to the noughties but stopped going over a decade ago. The last meeting I went to was a World Team Cup qualifier won by a professional Polish side against a set of English strugglers (amongst others)

Main reasons I stopped going:

Too many guest riders - got silly when your main opponent's in the league No1 was consistently your highest scorer

Team makeup being destroyed by a calculator-fuelled rulebook. Too many races where one or two riders were left at the back race after race.

Poor relationship between riders and fans - too many riders straight into their vans and off to the continent after a meeting, instead of mingling in the bar.

Anonymous riders/promoters - no real atmosphere especially during local derbies.

Long drawn-out interval before the last heat when 4 times out of five you knew who would be riding. This became especially annoying when I moved a two-hour drive away from the Showground.

And I also believe the axing of the junior races/rider of the night/junior league matches was a mistake. It might not have had all the spectators there, but you could start to identify the gems as they emerged.

On it's day, or preferably under the lights at night, not a lot can beat speedway. It just needs to be tightened up.

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There is a huge difference between riding and racing standards. The dedicated speedway fan may find a great ride by someone way out in front absorbing and impressive, but I suspect most are more interested in seeing a race. They're the ones we need to get back and please. 

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5 hours ago, waytogo28 said:

Controversial it may be but a goodly number of those who have walked away have done so for that reason - the racing is a poor standard compared to even 15 - 20 years ago ( never mind 40 years ago ). And that is not a view through my rose tinted glasses.  First away ( or out of the second bend ) and the vast majority of races are over. Newbies are not into the subtleties of speedway and are not likely to be impressed by what is now "speedway chasing". I am close to walking away for that and other reasons and will certainly pick my matches this season.

No it isn't.

Doesn't matter how many times you say something when the evidence to prove your statement false is available to view on a number of platforms.

I've already explained it numerous times. An average race in a big crowd will seem like a great one. The exact same race in front of a sparse crowd will seem poor. THAT is the problem now, lack of crowds, atmosphere and the racing doesn't seem as good as a result to most.

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2 hours ago, MattK said:

Riders must remain astride (in bold no less) their motorcycles while preparing their start areas.

That will not make much difference to all the time wasting.

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