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GP qualifying - Changes needed?

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38 minutes ago, enotian said:

Likewise would supporters attend both meetings therefore funding the additional costs?

Who'd pay to watch speedway qualifying meetings on Fridays? 2-day events have rarely been successful in speedway for whatever reasons, and even if you held a qualifier, it still wouldn't offer enough places to provide reasonable opportunities to a broad spectrum of candidates. 

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On ‎5‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 12:26 PM, Bavarian said:

An Overseas Final as an regional qualifying round before teh SGP Challenge would be a very attractive meeting in itself. As it would carry a title of its own (Overseas Champion) it is certainly more attractive than the current annonymous SGP Qualifying rounds. that we again have spread out across the continent, taking place in Slovakia, Germany, Denmark and Italy over this weekend.  

 

Imagine an annual Overseas Final with 6 British, 6 Australian, 2 USA, 1 New Zealand, and 1 Argentinean rider. (No places needed for Canada or South Africa at the moment)  

Top 5 from the Overseas Final to go through to the SGP Challenge.

 

Add the top 5 from a Nordic Final with 6 Danes, 6 Swedes, 2 Finns, and 2 Norwegians,

and with the top 5 from a highly competitive Continental Final with the top Poles, Russians, Czechs, Germans, and all the other European nations, who should probably contest some preliminatry roudns first, to give each nation a fair number of representatives.  

 

That makes 15 qualified riders for the SGP Challnege, plus one seeded rider of the host nation. Top 3 from the Challenge to qualify for the SGP as we have it. 

 

 

This whole GP qualification could be run over one weekend from the same location. How about top 3 from the Overseas, Nordic, Continental & European finals, plus 4 from a last chance meeting for those finishing 4th to 8th in the first 4 meetings.  With the final being re-christened the Inter-Continental Final.

6 meetings over 2 or 3 days.  TV coverage by pay-per-view? If the sports channels don't want to cover it. Make it a speedway festival and curtain raiser for the GP series. Sell weekend tickets to cover all 6 meetings, you might even get cities to bid to be hosts.

It would certainly cut down the amount of travelling for riders and reduce their unavailability for league fixtures.

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5 minutes ago, Humphrey Appleby said:

Who'd pay to watch speedway qualifying meetings on Fridays? 2-day events have rarely been successful in speedway for whatever reasons, and even if you held a qualifier, it still wouldn't offer enough places to provide reasonable opportunities to a broad spectrum of candidates. 

I can see people wanting "to make a weekend of it" often the cost of travel is more significant than the overnight stay.  Like those who do the pairs meeting in Somerset the night before Cardiff, admittedly not on the scale required.

And the Friday night/Saturday afternoon qualifier would have some big names in it.  For example the qualifier in Prague this weekend would have Jason Doyle trying to reach the GP.

Yes it would only increase the regular participants to 22/23 riders assuming there'd be at least one local wildcard but would you really need any more than that without diluting the quality? 

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31 minutes ago, enotian said:

Yes it would only increase the regular participants to 22/23 riders assuming there'd be at least one local wildcard but would you really need any more than that without diluting the quality? 

How would those riders be paid for, given that 24 rider fields weren't financially viable before?

And you'd still have the problem that the 24 riders would have to be hand-picked, which doesn't improve the current situation much whilst greatly increasing costs.

To have a reasonably inclusive field drawing from various national nominations, you really need to have a minimum of 48 riders and that's not going to be financially viable for any organiser, especially those outside of Europe. 

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36 minutes ago, enotian said:

I can see people wanting "to make a weekend of it" often the cost of travel is more significant than the overnight stay. 

You might see it, but history would suggest that 2-day speedway meetings aren't well supported. For some reason there's more of culture of it in ice racing, but there's presumably a reason why it doesn't happen much in speedway. 

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9 minutes ago, Humphrey Appleby said:

How would those riders be paid for, given that 24 rider fields weren't financially viable before?

You could argue that the prize is qualification, therefore no need to pay the participants.

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Just now, KevH said:

You could argue that the prize is qualification, therefore no need to pay the participants.

Do you work for nothing and pay staff ?  

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Just now, Mark said:

Do you work for nothing and pay staff ?  

Just playing devils advocate :/

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On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 11:17 PM, Humphrey Appleby said:

You might see it, but history would suggest that 2-day speedway meetings aren't well supported. For some reason there's more of culture of it in ice racing, but there's presumably a reason why it doesn't happen much in speedway. 

I think you refer to the Amsterdam World Final(s) so hardly an extensive trial, perhaps there are more examples.

This years SON will have two meetings in two days but I agree what's the point of seeing the same meeting twice.

But the GP qualifier would have 8 different riders from the GP.  I'd expect the meeting to be fiercely contested with the prize of reaching the following days/later that day full GP line up.

Why do people attend Moto GP, F1, WSB, BSB, music festivals etc etc over the course of a weekend? Qualifying for Moto GP etc appears rather dull to me yet all three days appear well attended.

If the content is good a 2 day/2 meeting GP could attract two attendances I'm sure.

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On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 11:15 PM, Humphrey Appleby said:

How would those riders be paid for, given that 24 rider fields weren't financially viable before?

And you'd still have the problem that the 24 riders would have to be hand-picked, which doesn't improve the current situation much whilst greatly increasing costs.

To have a reasonably inclusive field drawing from various national nominations, you really need to have a minimum of 48 riders and that's not going to be financially viable for any organiser, especially those outside of Europe. 

The previous 24 rider field participated in one meeting only so only one set of ticket sales.

With a qualifier then the GP as two separate meetings there'd be two revenue streams plus potential additional TV revenue for two meetings each covering the cost of a 16 rider field.  It would appear the venues are hired for at least two days anyway so no additional cost there.  So you might as well put on an event to attract additional revenue if you've hired the venue anyway.  Provided you can attract income to cover the marginal cost of putting the meeting on.  So it would have to be a meaningful/entertaining event, which I think a qualifier would be to many.

Surely hand picking the riders is an advantage?  Notwithstanding there'd be qualifying rounds to determine some of the 24. Surely hand picking is better than most motorsports in which riders/drivers with the best sponsorship backing get the GP places.  Those riders/drivers are not necessarily the best in the World.  Surely the aim is to see the best riders fight for the championship?  Isn't that the nature of sport?

I've no idea why you'd want to dilute the product by having 48 riders of various nations? For example, what value would including David Bellego add to the series?  France is a big country but if you think his inclusion will add thousands to the gate and attract French TV coverage to justify his inclusion that's just not going to happen. When he's earned a place by being competitive at that level he'll be a welcome addition but just turning up to be a token Frenchman would add no value to the product at all.

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On 5/24/2018 at 1:40 AM, enotian said:

Surely hand picking the riders is an advantage?  Notwithstanding there'd be qualifying rounds to determine some of the 24. Surely hand picking is better than most motorsports in which riders/drivers with the best sponsorship backing get the GP places.  Those riders/drivers are not necessarily the best in the World.  Surely the aim is to see the best riders fight for the championship?  Isn't that the nature of sport?

I've no idea why you'd want to dilute the product by having 48 riders of various nations? For example, what value would including David Bellego add to the series?  France is a big country but if you think his inclusion will add thousands to the gate and attract French TV coverage to justify his inclusion that's just not going to happen. When he's earned a place by being competitive at that level he'll be a welcome addition but just turning up to be a token Frenchman would add no value to the product at all.

The 24-rider format was dropped because it was too expensive. Running a qualifying meeting at the same venue might seem like a good idea, but how would you sell tickets for the main meeting without knowing exactly who's going to be riding? Plus what happens if a particular favourite or top star doesn't make it to main meeting?

There are also costs associated with running a meeting beyond hiring the venue, such as staffing, and what sort of attendance would you get for a Friday meeting? I'd also imagine there could be issues with track preparation for back-to-back meetings, especially at the temporary venues where it seems hard enough to get things right for one meeting let alone two.

If you could run Saturdays and Sundays that might be one thing, but speedway is fairly unique amongst other sports in that it's 'premier' event has to compete with domestic competitions, namely Polish speedway that's run on Sundays. 

And whilst I disagree with the hand-picking of riders, I see no advantage in picking 24 over 16. You're just increasing costs and potentially diluting the quality of the lineup.

48 is a number that would allow every speedway riding country to nominate at least one rider, but still ensure the stronger countries could have 3 or 4 in the field. It's clearly not currently economic, but I used it as a illustration to show that you're not going to improve anything just by expanding the field. 

Do you really think riders for the speedway GP aren't selected because they have particular backers rather than because they're the best riders?

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31 minutes ago, Humphrey Appleby said:

 Do you really think riders for the speedway GP aren't selected because they have particular backers rather than because they're the best riders?

All bar 4 riders qualify by on track performance.  Either by finishing in the top 8 in the previous year or via the GP Challenge.

Of the 4 wildcards I'm sure if money talked there would be more Poles selected. I look forward to hearing your evidence as to who has bought their way into the series...….

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45 minutes ago, Humphrey Appleby said:

 but how would you sell tickets for the main meeting without knowing exactly who's going to be riding? Plus what happens if a particular favourite or top star doesn't make it to main meeting?

 

So nobody bought tickets for tomorrows Champions League Final because there's no guarantee Ronaldo will be playing.....?

If you're that fixated on seeing a certain top star wouldn't you buy a ticket for the qualifier knowing that they were in it? So people would pay to watch a qualifying meeting after all? Then another ticket if they qualify for the GP.

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55 minutes ago, Humphrey Appleby said:

 

There are also costs associated with running a meeting beyond hiring the venue, such as staffing, and what sort of attendance would you get for a Friday meeting? I'd also imagine there could be issues with track preparation for back-to-back meetings, especially at the temporary venues where it seems hard enough to get things right for one meeting let alone two.

 

I presume the majority of those staff attend practice and their cost is marginal.  Might as well utilise them in managing a meeting that you can create income from (ticket sales and TV, potentially sponsorship). Check out sports channels Friday night schedules particularly during the summer.  Zero content bar T-20 cricket.

As I understand it they now often run a pre-meeting on the temporary tracks anyway and they run practice the day before a GP but I agree that must be a consideration as track conditions are essential to the product.  But just because something might be difficult doesn't mean you shouldn't do it.

To be fair I'm more than happy with the GP series as it is (although there needs to be more than 10) as I have stuff to do on Friday nights but others expressed that only 15 GP regulars didn't offer sufficient variety.  So rather than change the almost perfect 23 heat format to allow more participants I suggest having a pre gp qualifier

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1 hour ago, enotian said:

So nobody bought tickets for tomorrows Champions League Final because there's no guarantee Ronaldo will be playing.....?

Don't know how many times it needs to be said that speedway isn't football.

You're comparing apples and pears, not least because the Champions League is a team event whose fans will generally follow regardless of who's playing, versus the individual event that's the SGP. And not to mention that fans can be sure both teams will be playing in the final match.

If having qualifying events before the main event was such a good idea, why does the Champions League not hold its Semi-Finals and Final at the same venue? 

As I said, I'm sure speedway has thought of running two-day meetings before, and has indeed experimented with it on the odd occasion. But they obviously don't do it for good reasons, and the ditching of the SWC which had a qualifier on the Friday before the Final, is just another nail in the coffin of the idea. 

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