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The continuing decline of Speedway

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The problem is How To Engage and Hold other age groups other than Over 60's ( most of whom remember a more glorious past ). Kids can be brought in in the Barry Bishop IOW way much more simply ( with the effort shown there ). 20s to 40s and 40s to 60s is a much more difficult proposition to even get them to take a long look at what speedway offers.

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2 hours ago, waytogo28 said:

The problem is How To Engage and Hold other age groups other than Over 60's ( most of whom remember a more glorious past ). Kids can be brought in in the Barry Bishop IOW way much more simply ( with the effort shown there ). 20s to 40s and 40s to 60s is a much more difficult proposition to even get them to take a long look at what speedway offers.

This is interesting and perhaps we are slightly different to other clubs but our demographic definitely is not over 60s, its kids to 50s mainly (or perhaps I am blinkered as I get older of age :) ) We do have senior fans for sure, but as to them being the majority our gate tickets tell us otherwise, as does the fan base, and while we are not talking thousands through the gate, well not yet of course, our fan base is definitely less than 50. This has been our objective since the start. To start from the ground up, attracting a new demographic while engaging and supporting those who have been for year. I cannot say that we have cracked it for sure, but in general I think we are working well with both groups of fans. 

Our parties are always full of families, which is really where I want it to be. Our season ticket sales goes across the spectrum of course but we do have youth pricing for season tickets and we have sold them.

I walk our stadium every meeting and engage with the fans and not one traditional speedway fan has said they didn't like the new things we were putting in to attract fans... I feel that they actually enjoy the fun filled show we try to put on more than just 15 heats of quality racing... For us, making speedway an event is our target and to make each week better than the previous one is a business objective along with have a business that is sustainable and can fund itself.

That's our view on it and it is a challenge to think of great ideas, have them copied and have to think of new ones to keep being innovative but thats the plan moving forward... continue to improve the stadium, continue to engage, continue to promote, continue to build a rider base, continue with the show and continue to innovate... all to the best we can and all within a budget. .......... see you trackside. 

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49 minutes ago, barrybishop said:

I walk our stadium every meeting and engage with the fans and not one traditional speedway fan has said they didn't like the new things we were putting in to attract fans... I feel that they actually enjoy the fun filled show we try to put on more than just 15 heats of quality racing... For us, making speedway an event is our target and to make each week better than the previous one is a business objective along with have a business that is sustainable and can fund itself.

That is almost the only way to build up a new" fan base." Long may your efforts succeed! And please gather up some fellow disciples among the other promoters! A fun filled show and 15 heats of exciting quality racing. Yes Please! 

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2 hours ago, waytogo28 said:

That is almost the only way to build up a new" fan base." Long may your efforts succeed! And please gather up some fellow disciples among the other promoters! A fun filled show and 15 heats of exciting quality racing. Yes Please! 

The forward looking promoters like Barry Bishop are around we have one at Redcar in Kevin Keay, time to listen and will try anything new.  It seems to be the few (or maybe more than a few!) that are only looking out for themselves and dont care about the sport as a whole that are doing the damage.

Barry Bishop

Kevin Keay

Any more to add to the list?

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To be fair to Chris Louis at Ipswich I think he wants to try new things and having a sponsor like Guy can help with that. 

Love him or hate him Matt Ford was probably the same when he entered the sport. 

The big issue seems to be that the old guard those that really control the sport seem to have a habit of wearing these new bread of promotion down. It's always been the same reading John Berry's books he was hated by the BSPA and viewed as an upstart! 

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On 9/29/2018 at 1:52 PM, Spl77 said:

To be fair to Chris Louis at Ipswich I think he wants to try new things and having a sponsor like Guy can help with that. 

Love him or hate him Matt Ford was probably the same when he entered the sport. 

The big issue seems to be that the old guard those that really control the sport seem to have a habit of wearing these new bread of promotion down. It's always been the same reading John Berry's books he was hated by the BSPA and viewed as an upstart! 

I agree but also think that of late CL has been worn downand all but given up. The 16 Lapper cancelled for spurious reasons when other clubs manage to run individual meetings and Ipswich show little respect for the speedway supporter and the loyal local following. Here we are at the end of September and most clubs have shut up shop, what has gone wrong with the sport? Years gone by, the end of season closing meetings were something to behold now it is a damp squib. As a sport the farce continues with events at Peterborough versus Lakeside which while it might be beyond the control of Peterborough it sums up the shambles UK speedway finds itself in. Poor stadia, indifferent rider loyalty, riders who cannot be bothered to turn out for anything other than an league meeting yet they whinge about the lack of track time, promoters who have buried their heads up their own backsides and ignore the current loyal supporters and with no hope of attracting new support because of a p poor product.. the only saving grace at this time is Tai, Workington, Mildenhall  and Kings Lynn all whom deserve success and on the rider front, Robert Lambert has so much more to offer but is not quite ready for the GP. Dan, Drew and a good few more give English speedway a bright future and in summing up, league racing has fallen well short but on an individual front  the sport has some real contenders who without the pressure will go all the way. RL to be GP champ by 2022. 

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Regarding "shut up shop" comment I fear for the future of the wonderful Speedway Star....I mean once the season 'fully' ends how on earth does this magazine survive?

Surely most sales are made at the tracks?      So come the close season won't those figures slump to possibly alarming levels?

I get mine thru subscription.....it's a read I love and would be lost without it.....how about you?

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43 minutes ago, singy13 said:

Regarding "shut up shop" comment I fear for the future of the wonderful Speedway Star....I mean once the season 'fully' ends how on earth does this magazine survive?

Surely most sales are made at the tracks?      So come the close season won't those figures slump to possibly alarming levels?

I get mine thru subscription.....it's a read I love and would be lost without it.....how about you?

Subscription is the way to go. I use to buy mine at various news agents over the years and on the odd occasion at the track but with subscription it falls through the letter box on a Thursday with very few hick ups. Possibly on a Friday but that is down to the post not the Star and what is more you save money. Agree I would be lost without it and I am an anorak who use to buy all the speedway news papers/magazines, Speedway Express, Speedway Mail etc.

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1 hour ago, Hawk127 said:

Subscription is the way to go. I use to buy mine at various news agents over the years and on the odd occasion at the track but with subscription it falls through the letter box on a Thursday with very few hick ups. Possibly on a Friday but that is down to the post not the Star and what is more you save money. Agree I would be lost without it and I am an anorak who use to buy all the speedway news papers/magazines, Speedway Express, Speedway Mail etc.

Oh such happy days, with the sport booming.

If only there was a simple solution to regaining such appeal for Speedway.

The product still can provide 'magic'...as per Monday nights finale at Poole......and my brilliant Comets last Saturday...great stuff.

 But Joe Public who followed the sport many moons ago is a hard nut to crack regarding joining the turnstile queues again...............(hopefully some still read the SS though) 

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12 hours ago, singy13 said:

Oh such happy days, with the sport booming.

If only there was a simple solution to regaining such appeal for Speedway.

The product still can provide 'magic'...as per Monday nights finale at Poole......and my brilliant Comets last Saturday...great stuff.

 But Joe Public who followed the sport many moons ago is a hard nut to crack regarding joining the turnstile queues again...............(hopefully some still read the SS though) 

The are some who have returned at the NSS. Only a few of the many who had been regulars at Hyde Road but gave up with the poorer racing at the dog track. The trouble is many of those stopped going in 1988/89 and that makes it difficult considering their likely age, health and having got out of the habit so long ago plus, of course, those no longer with us.

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1 hour ago, Aces51 said:

The are some who have returned at the NSS. Only a few of the many who had been regulars at Hyde Road but gave up with the poorer racing at the dog track. The trouble is many of those stopped going in 1988/89 and that makes it difficult considering their likely age, health and having got out of the habit so long ago plus, of course, those no longer with us.

Hyde Road crowds superb...used to try and get there  - from Cumbria - as often as poss...never been to dog track. Did visit NSS on non meeting day - hoping to see 'brick' I paid £50 for...but not possible as they are in locked foyer section (i.e. locked on non speedway day drat)......nice stadium though.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, singy13 said:

Hyde Road crowds superb...used to try and get there  - from Cumbria - as often as poss...never been to dog track. Did visit NSS on non meeting day - hoping to see 'brick' I paid £50 for...but not possible as they are in locked foyer section (i.e. locked on non speedway day drat)......nice stadium though.

Just been re-reading Eric Boocock's autobiography "Booey- Around In Circles" and the chapter regarding his taking over the Aces made interesting reading. Considering that he was referring to 1975 his comments were that the stadium was shabby even then and needed serious attention and wouldn't have passed Health & Safety requirements (especially after the Bradford City tragedy) today. However he does confirm what we all know is that the racing was first class and offered many different racing lines.

He continued to comment that no matter how good the stadium was/is if the racing wasn't/isn't upto scratch then it's all for nought...contentious view but one I agree with to an extent.

Edited by steve roberts

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2 hours ago, steve roberts said:

Just been re-reading Eric Boocock's autobiography "Booey- Around In Circles" and the chapter regarding his taking over the Aces made interesting reading. Considering that he was referring to 1975 his comments were that the stadium was shabby even then and needed serious attention and wouldn't have passed Health & Safety requirements (especially after the Bradford City tragedy) today. However he does confirm what we all know is that the racing was first class and offered many different racing lines.

He continued to comment that no matter how good the stadium was/is if the racing wasn't/isn't upto scratch then it's all for nought...contentious view but one I agree with to an extent.

I think we all agree that the promoters need to get their heads together and do the right thing with their tracks for the best possible racing, they must want to help one another out in this case?

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On 10/3/2018 at 7:52 PM, singy13 said:

Regarding "shut up shop" comment I fear for the future of the wonderful Speedway Star....I mean once the season 'fully' ends how on earth does this magazine survive?

Surely most sales are made at the tracks?      So come the close season won't those figures slump to possibly alarming levels?

I get mine thru subscription.....it's a read I love and would be lost without it.....how about you?

TRACK sales used to be quite important but were always a small percentage of overall figure. For the past few years, with a lack of continuity of fixtures, etc, our track sales have shrunk to being almost non-existent outside of a couple of tracks. 

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