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The continuing decline of Speedway

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1 hour ago, iris123 said:

Whilst I agree it is a shame and a hindrance to the sport that there is no venue,the idea that speedway should be in some ‘great big city stadium’ is pie in the sky romanticism.White City or Wembley would never be financially possible in today’s sporting climate.Even back in the 70’s speedway at White City was akin to Queens Park playing at Hampson.750 fans in a 52,000 capacity stadium!!!People have to face the reality of the modern situation

When Wimbledon reopened in 2002, The sport was given the keys to the crown jewels. The BSPA should have gone in there and layed a proper track and staged their top meetings there. The stadium was in good nick at the time with executive boxes for corporate customers. This was at a time when SKY were getting excellent  viewing figures, and a track in London could have worked wonders for the sport.

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Posted (edited)

one of the biggest problems for the sport in recent times should have been something that was used to the benefit of the sport - THE INTERNET

on the down side it gives people more insight into how things are being run, how petty arguments between supporters get out in the open, how people moan about whether the shale is the wrong colour, or we're not being appreciated by the promoter, or how rumours get around about who will be at a track or won't, potentially affecting the attendance, or so many other reasons putting people off actually going out of sheer scare tactics.

 

the internet could have been used for so much good, but i think those in charge were too set in their ways to use it to their advantage at the right time, and where sites like this forum could have been used differently and as great advertising, nothing really goes on here other than stupid arguments and that's got to put off quite a few

 

years ago i just loved speedway, and would turn up on the night hoping to see a good meeting, without all the pettiness.

Wimbledon, Hackney, Canterbury, and Rye House was a normal week for me.

nowadays, there is no continuity with ANY club, and that's enough to put people off too

Edited by stevehone
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7 hours ago, acef said:

What would say are the fundamental differences between how the sport was operated then, versus now? 

It was promoted better and was in keeping with the times (i.e. the 1980s). Now people demand more like better facilities, better presentation etc.

All successful sports have moved on while speedway has simply stood still.

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2 hours ago, screm said:

Not as much for those who say, I used to go to speedway years ago, or speedway haven't been for years. A great night at the speedway is still just as great now as it ever was, sad thing is there`s a fraction of us there now to see it.

True.  This ^^ would almost double my hypothtetical fortune.  Sigh....

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7 hours ago, acef said:

But the racing imo, is better than its ever been. I believe too much empashsis is put into the quality of racing when, really, it wasn't much cop back then either. 

I think the racing is excellent at the moment and at many meetings now good racing is more consistent than it was in the 60s, 70, 80s & 90s.

I probably see more overtakes in an evening at Scunny now than i did in a month at Wimbledon in the 'good old days'.

 

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19 minutes ago, Hot Shoe said:

It was promoted better and was in keeping with the times (i.e. the 1980s). Now people demand more like better facilities, better presentation etc.

All successful sports have moved on while speedway has simply stood still.

Totally agree.  People's standards have stepped up since that and new fans expect good facilities and presentation that is vibrant and exciting.  The presentation and facilities at a lot of tracks have not changed since my first meeting in 1990.

Sports like Rugby League and Ice Hockey have embraced this and had a set plan to invest in the sports infrastructure.  Speedway has not done this.

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3 hours ago, ch958 said:

theres probably scope for a billboard facing the A66 with thousands of cars passing every day

I  totally agree with you.

 Last night's meeting Red car v Scunthorpe was excellent with some tremendous racing in and both sides deserve a lot of credit.However, I know that Scunthorpe have been hammered with injuries so how would I explain to a new fan that they used 3 guests and r/r to them for them to take speed way seriously.

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4 minutes ago, mb1990 said:

Totally agree.  People's standards have stepped up since that and new fans expect good facilities and presentation that is vibrant and exciting.  The presentation and facilities at a lot of tracks have not changed since my first meeting in 1990.

Sports like Rugby League and Ice Hockey have embraced this and had a set plan to invest in the sports infrastructure.  Speedway has not done this.

...just reading an article in 'Backtrack' whereby the late John Berry made a reference to this very topic and football in particular.

"...consider the standard of comfort and amenity now provided since Hillsborough and other disasters. And before you start asking why speedway doesn't do the same thing, ask yourself if the various levels of government are prepared to throw the same amount of money at other professional sports as they have done to football in the form of grants, subsidies, peppercorn rents, free or subsidised crowd control and the like"

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5 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

...just reading an article in 'Backtrack' whereby the late John Berry made a reference to this very topic and football in particular.

"...consider the standard of comfort and amenity now provided since Hillsborough and other disasters. And before you start asking why speedway doesn't do the same thing, ask yourself if the various levels of government are prepared to throw the same amount of money at other professional sports as they have done to football in the form of grants, subsidies, peppercorn rents, free or subsidised crowd control and the like"

But speedway had a nice brand new stadium, probably needed more money spent on it, but was 80% there, Newport. things didn't go well, particularly after Tim passed away and has been razed to the ground and is now a lorry park, I understand. Speedway is not joined up. Speedway continues operating on a team/league basis, but speedway as a collective body, is not there, the promoters are only interested in themselves, not the sport as a whole. To some degree, I get that, as they have put the cash into their own club, but the sport needs an independent regulator/moderator/arbiter or whatever you want to call it, to act as a catalyst. I do think the Newport situation was an extreme tragedy. 

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Matt Ford article sums up the sport very well.Please don't start telling me he started it all,I am only talking what he has said in THIS WEEKS  SS.I tend to agree with his view.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ray Stadia said:

But speedway had a nice brand new stadium, probably needed more money spent on it, but was 80% there, Newport. things didn't go well, particularly after Tim passed away and has been razed to the ground and is now a lorry park, I understand. Speedway is not joined up. Speedway continues operating on a team/league basis, but speedway as a collective body, is not there, the promoters are only interested in themselves, not the sport as a whole. To some degree, I get that, as they have put the cash into their own club, but the sport needs an independent regulator/moderator/arbiter or whatever you want to call it, to act as a catalyst. I do think the Newport situation was an extreme tragedy. 

...I think that John Berry's article intimated that there wasn't/isn't a level playing field when it came to facilities and/or amenities and that football, in particular, gained far more favourable incentives to unable the sport to upgrade. Speedway, generally, has had to rely on self funding and initiatives in which to develop facilities without little help, financially, from governments local or national.

I'm not familiar regarding the background of the new Belle Vue facility and where the finances were obtained but any information would be appreciated.

I would agree wholeheartedly that speedway needs an independent body/person to run the sport...John Berry was once nominated but soon resigned when he realised that he wouldn't get the necessary support from members of the BSPA.

Edited by steve roberts

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1 minute ago, steve roberts said:

...I think that John Berry's article intimated that there wasn't/isn't a level playing field when it came to facilities and/or amenities and that football, in particular, gained far more favourable incentives to unable the sport to upgrade. Speedway, generally, has had to rely on self funding and initiatives in which to develop facilities without little help, financially, from governments local or national.

I get that Steve, but the 'Speedway Family' watched and did nothing to stop the bulldozing of a relatively new speedway stadium, built from the blood, sweat and tears of a true speedway enthusiast. Tim's only failure, was he died! 

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3 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

...I think that John Berry's article intimated that there wasn't/isn't a level playing field when it came to facilities and/or amenities and that football, in particular, gained far more favourable incentives to unable the sport to upgrade. Speedway, generally, has had to rely on self funding and initiatives in which to develop facilities without little help, financially, from governments local or national.

Berry was always banging on about football getting more coverage that speedway. However, it was somewhat misguided to compare a national sport that anyone could play to a motor sport that required considerable investment just to 'have a go' ...

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, moxey63 said:

The most memorable matches I can remember were when Wolves brought a decent-sized crowd (glory seekers) with them to Belle Vue in the mid-90s. It created some great banter, Belle Vue fans who had stood for years at the side of one another without speaking a word were, for one night only, found out they spoke the same language. Fans do create a better spectacle. 

And you had true team sport rivalry when Wolves came to the Aces and vice versa..

Proper 'your team' v 'their team' rivalry..

We were Moran(s), Screen, Ott, Lyons, Schott etc etc

They were Ermolenko(s), Correy, Jones, Karlsson(s) etc etc..

Teams who were easily identifiable and synonymous by their riders..

Riders who were easily identifiable and synonymous by their teams..

Oxford were Nielsen, Wigg, Cox etc. Cov were Tatum, Knudsen, Miller etc. Cradley were Hancock, Hamill, Cross etc etc etc..

All ran on a Friday at BV, a good night to attract a crowd, (and maybe most importantly if you want 'atmosphere', away fans too)..

And ran 9 times out of 10 with the riders who should have been there actually turning up..

No changing around year on year the core of each team to appease the weakest links..

No riders missing due to having to attend the 'Azerbaijan Open'...

And, no cobbled together "Roll up, Roll up, For One Night Only Folks!" random septet of ringers..

Just 'your team' v 'their team'..

And do you know what? In the main. It seemed to work quite well too..

Who'd have thought that?

Amazing! :rolleyes:

 

Edited by mikebv
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11 hours ago, cityrebel said:

When Wimbledon reopened in 2002, The sport was given the keys to the crown jewels. The BSPA should have gone in there and layed a proper track and staged their top meetings there. The stadium was in good nick at the time with executive boxes for corporate customers. This was at a time when SKY were getting excellent  viewing figures, and a track in London could have worked wonders for the sport.

The BSPA is a misnomer. Yes, it is an association but of the loosest kind. It has little overall interest in the sport as a whole, it purports to represent British Speedway but does little to concern itself with how the entire sport is run. As "custodians" of the sport in Great Britain ( well England and Scotland ) it has failed in many ways as when it had the opportunity with Wimbledon in 2002. That should have been developed as the then Jewel in the Crown - a presence in the capital to "show off" with. We now have such a facility at the NSS but with little to thank the BSPA for about its creation. The sport is now too weak across the country to make good use of what is today's Jewel in the Crown. At least on a Monday! And thereby hangs a tale.

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