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tmc

Time British Speedway went AMATEUR

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35 minutes ago, B.V 72 said:

you just don't read full posts do you.

you don't read full posts do you I say I have no answers the posts just about my opinion on amateur speedway,and a speedway forum is all about opinions for or against is it not.

The thread is call time british speedway went amateur not blueprint for the sports survival is it not.

I probably didn't read your post properly, sorry. So, you too have concerns of speedway's future. The thread is really about survival, as the suggestion is, by going amateur, the costs for the promoters will be less and provide a chance for survival. But as 'Sings4Speedway' is suggesting, maybe team speedway shouldn't be part of a survival plan. 

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50 minutes ago, Ray Stadia said:

If the sport is run on an amateur basis, it doesn't mean the riders can't earn, but they will earn according to their ability. And why does speedway need to run during the week? It can be run Friday night, anytime Saturday or anytime Sunday. Which would allow the riders to work or finish their education. Also, the country should be divided into regions, to reduce travelling costs. Another idea, if you could attract relatively local riders, why not all riders travel together or at least buddy up in groups.The bikes could be loaded into a large van or lorry and the riders travel by coach. What a great way to create team spirit! 

A fair percentage of tracks just aren't available Friday night (still time off work to get there) Saturday or Sunday.

I took amateur to mean they wouldn't be paid, certainly Mr Snackette seems to be making the argument they should be paying to ride.

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2 minutes ago, Vince said:

A fair percentage of tracks just aren't available Friday night (still time off work to get there) Saturday or Sunday.

I took amateur to mean they wouldn't be paid, certainly Mr Snackette seems to be making the argument they should be paying to ride.

Yes, I suppose truly amateur means no money and maybe paying to ride. If tracks aren't available at weekends then that is scuppered! Oh well, it just carries on limping. :(   

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4 minutes ago, Ray Stadia said:

I probably didn't read your post properly, sorry. So, you too have concerns of speedway's future. The thread is really about survival, as the suggestion is, by going amateur, the costs for the promoters will be less and provide a chance for survival. But as 'Sings4Speedway' is suggesting, maybe team speedway shouldn't be part of a survival plan. 

Don't get me wrong i know team speedway is very well loved in this country and when done well its an excellent sight to behold but its clear it is struggling. But as my business vision would be to have a touring series of individual meetings (possibly pairs & 4TT too?) would that actually provide enough to keep a lot of tracks open? Probably not as the rough thought process in my head is to hire the venue and promote independently but the likelihood is that rents would be increased year on year as the series success took off. 

 

4 minutes ago, Ray Stadia said:

Yes, I suppose truly amateur means no money and maybe paying to ride. If tracks aren't available at weekends then that is scuppered! Oh well, it just carries on limping. :(   

There are a lot of riders who pay pretty high fees to ride at amateur level and likewise grasstrack has the same approach but can still draw good crowds. Whilst not always a hit with the purists a mixture of solo and sidecar speedway at an event would double the spectator draw and entertainment value.

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23 hours ago, tmc said:

Because what promoters can really afford is so low, due to poor crowds, lack of big sponsors and large overheads, by definition riders (certainly in the lower two leagues) would inevitably become amateur/part-time.

part time yes, amateur no. When i started watching in 1968 riders had jobs (2nd div) and rode in front of bigger crowds on cheaper bikes

we need to get back there

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5 hours ago, Sings4Speedway said:

Don't get me wrong i know team speedway is very well loved in this country and when done well its an excellent sight to behold but its clear it is struggling. But as my business vision would be to have a touring series of individual meetings (possibly pairs & 4TT too?) would that actually provide enough to keep a lot of tracks open? Probably not as the rough thought process in my head is to hire the venue and promote independently but the likelihood is that rents would be increased year on year as the series success took off. 

 

There are a lot of riders who pay pretty high fees to ride at amateur level and likewise grasstrack has the same approach but can still draw good crowds. Whilst not always a hit with the purists a mixture of solo and sidecar speedway at an event would double the spectator draw and entertainment value.

4TT's for me used to give the best racing as all four riders were of a reasonable similar level.. (and no guests!)

Four lads earning an average each of £1000 a meeting (£250 a ride) would need £16000 to be taken at home, after VAT, to pay for the four meetings.. (£19200 gross). At £16 a ticket (one pound per race) a crowd of 1200 per match would cover the rider costs..

1500 would deliver £24000, surely possible with four decent teams in attendance per night with four sets of fans to possibly attract.? 

Maybe there could even be one BIG 16 team 'weekender' ran at one venue during a School Summer Hols weekend, a two days 'Festival Of Speedway'!! 

British Speedway would benefit far more from a lesser number of BIG, BOLD, WELL PROMOTED events that have credibility at individual and multi team level, taking place at defined weekends, rather than lots of meetings ran through the week on ad hoc weeks, with just two teams, no away fans, contrived septets etc etc..

The racing is often very, very good...

It's just the rest of the 'brand damaging' nonsense around it that holds it back...

Edited by mikebv

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5 hours ago, gustix said:

Speedway as such is not dead. As an on-track spectacle it provides great entertainment. IMO what is dead is the continuation of team racing. What is needed - again IMO - is something similar to the race format they have in California.

League racing has failed in several countries - offhand I can think of the USA, South Africa, Holland, Australia. I think also in several East European countries?

league racing failed in the places u mention because of distance and/or lack of riders. There's nothing wrong with league racing if teams have a strong local identity. Individual meetings have become unpopular in this country.Thats not the answer I'm afraid

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On ‎1‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 4:08 PM, BWitcher said:

That's the entire point. You cut the quality and leave the price the same (or indeed increase it) the result is less customers. That is the case in ANY business, yet that is all speedway has done for a long time now. It's simply a slow death.

An attitude of focus only on retaining current customers is also a sure fire way to kill the sport. The current supporters are an aging fan base. ALL sports lose fans as they grow older.. however, they work hard to replace them.

I agree with many points in the post, but not focusing on the current fan base.. the current fan base is the biggest killer of the sport.

Its not necessarily the case that cutting costs cuts the quality. A business can reduce a significant chunk of operating expenditure (ie staff wages) without affecting the quality of their product. Its simply a case of employees having less take home pay, and that's precisely the point that TMC is making.

I accept your view regarding the reduction in standards but I would question what the alternative is. After all, it is very easy to be critical but far more difficult to propose solutions. 

If you are opposed to cutting costs, presumably you advocate maintaining or increasing them. There's no doubt that that would be a massive financial gamble, and I have yet to see any one offer to put their own money up to fund it. That means they are risking others finances at no danger to themselves, and that is also very easy to do.

I think focussing on existing customers alone would be mistaken, but part of speedway's problem is that it has, to a degree, taken them for granted.

On ‎1‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 9:32 AM, PHILIPRISING said:

TOO often on here, in my opinion, riders are accused of milking the honeypot and making a fortune. Extortionate demands, etc, etc. But, surely, it is worth remembering that speedway riders have a short (often prematurely short) and potentially dangerous career. And also that costs have risen massively since the "old days." even without expensive tuning. Looking at the CL this season ... a rider travelling from Eastbourne to Glasgow has a round journey of almost 1,000 miles. Conservatively that is likely to cost him £200 in fuel alone. Okay, that is an extreme but while I agree with much of what Tony Mac has to say (and Speedway Star is suffering massively from the mass exodus of fans from the sport) continual watering down of the product is not the answer.

Many moons ago a wise man said of speedway in the UK: You cannot keep cutting costs until there is nothing left. Sooner or later you have to increase revenue.

What remains infuriating is that the actual product can still be exciting, spectacular, enthralling, etc. But roughly 15 minutes of entertainment over a two--hour plus span is not enough for the current price of admission. Filling in the gaps doesn't have to be costly.

Riders were travelling from Eastbourne to Glasgow in the 1970's. In addition, in 1975 they would have been doing Workington, Crewe and Paisley as well. Stories of long distance travel were numerous : Mike Sampson (Exeter-Barrow) Graham Jones (Lowestoft-Berwick) Rob Maxfield (Manchester-Exeter). They were for home meetings !!

Don't get me wrong, I don't think for a single minute that the riders don't deserve their pay, whatever that might be. But the simple truth is that speedway can't afford it andthat issue just cannot be off the table. What is also undoubtedly true is that speedway has never been a full time occupation for the overwhelming majority of riders, yet some today think that it is or should be.

Where I very much agree is that it can't just be a case of cutting costs while ignoring further revenue streams or ways to attract further spectators.

 

Edited by Halifaxtiger
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On ‎1‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 1:13 PM, Vince said:

 

I keep seeing that riders should have full time jobs and race Speedway like in the 'good old days'. Great idea but in todays job market just how many jobs can fit in with riders travelling on various days and taking spells out injured? In the past Speedway was a big enough sport that many employers would take on riders and make allowances for their sport because it gave them some involvement, these days most employers don't know what Speedway is. I know my lad went through a variety of jobs trying to find one that fitted and I had to completely change my career to cart him around for NL Speedway. We didn't pay anybody to work on his bikes as I did the motors but the travelling and time off work hit hard, took me as long to recover financially after he gave up as he was riding for.

 

The NL boys - and despite what you might read, it is impossible to make a living from NL speedway - manage it. Chris Widman, for example, has his own butcher's shop. Tom Perry works in a bank, and Ben Morley is a pipe fitter. Dean Felton was (and is) a courier, and Tim Webster a wagon driver.

There are  hundreds (if not thousands) of professional sportsmen across the country who manage to combine their playing with their jobs.

Not easy, maybe, but anything but impossible. 

 

 

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9 hours ago, ch958 said:

Speedway as such is not dead. As an on-track spectacle it provides great entertainment. IMO what is dead is the continuation of team racing. What is needed - again IMO - is something similar to the race format they have in California.

Actually, gustix wrote the above - I too agree that ONLY something like the format used in California is likely to attract significant numbers of new fans and hold a good proportion of them. After 65 years of watching UK speedway I too am bored when seeing 2 or 3 decent races out of 15 - which is what it has come to. Far too many tapes to flag non-races most likely due to the high powered bikes of today ( as well as rider attitude - " I missed the start so this will do" ) . Dismiss this as yet another "dinosaur" growing too old to enjoy what's on offer, if you wish but vast numbers of fans have just decided to give UK speedway racing a miss over the last 10 -20 years. And yes, PL & CL riders are paid more than the sport can afford. Managed decline IS real.

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On 1/16/2019 at 12:31 PM, Mr Snackette said:

My question is very simple:

WHY SHOULD SOMEONE WHO CHOOSES TO RIDE A SPEEDWAY BIKE EXPECT TO BE PAID?

My son drives a Hot Rod. Apart from the support of some very generous sponsors, he meets the rest of the cost out of his own pocket! He even pays to compete.

WHAT MAKES A SPEEDWAY RIDER SO SPECIAL?

Can I ask what level of Hot Rods he races, ad I know National Hotrod drivers get start money and good prize money.

Anything below that is a turn off to the crowds, does nothing to bringing revenue in and is purely a filler formula whilst we repair the bangers or stock cars. So it is totally reasonable to expect to pay to race. (As i did all my career).

Speedway however is the sole thing that brings in the cash to speedway, and is far more expensive then running a car. (Except Nat hot rods, Brisca and saloon stox) And there are 14 riders max compared to 200 cars at a race meet.

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3 hours ago, waytogo28 said:

Actually, gustix wrote the above - I too agree that ONLY something like the format used in California is likely to attract significant numbers of new fans and hold a good proportion of them. After 65 years of watching UK speedway I too am bored when seeing 2 or 3 decent races out of 15 - which is what it has come to. Far too many tapes to flag non-races most likely due to the high powered bikes of today ( as well as rider attitude - " I missed the start so this will do" ) . Dismiss this as yet another "dinosaur" growing too old to enjoy what's on offer, if you wish but vast numbers of fans have just decided to give UK speedway racing a miss over the last 10 -20 years. And yes, PL & CL riders are paid more than the sport can afford. Managed decline IS real.

Christ.. if you really want to kill the sport of, the above is a sure fire way to do it.

As for the racing, you just simply don't remember all the tapes to flags and strung out racing in years gone by.

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Back in the early days at Lynn the racing was always enjoyable.  We never won much, but we could just about hold our own at home. The average gate was around 5K and the atmosphere was amazing.   I agree there were some processional races and some were well spaced out, but most races would have a angle to then that made them important. Our strength was usually our heat leaders, who would have to pull the  rabbit out of the bag to attain a win.  But it was so important not to lose...  After the meeting the environment moved to the bars where riders mixed with fans drinking way into the night...    How things have changed.....

Back then the sport was priced at a cost the fans could afford,  the VFM was never questioned, and it was always night out at a weekend .    For our sport to stand any sort of chance of surviving,   we have to re-create along those lines.   ( minus the late drinking) :cheers:  

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1 hour ago, BWitcher said:

Christ.. if you really want to kill the sport of, the above is a sure fire way to do it.

As for the racing, you just simply don't remember all the tapes to flags and strung out racing in years gone by.

But, although as you say the racing wasn't always tapes-to-flag in the past, it was more interesting. For starters, we are missing characters. Then we are missing the importance of supporters cheering on someone they have become accustomed to wearing their team colours. I remember in the past how my heart was in my mouth when my favourites came to the line to race for my side. I may as well have been riding the blinking bike, I was that apprehensive. You need the pull of wanting to attend matches to support riders within your team. The riders and the team become part of you. You then don't want to miss it everytime it races.

The love of your team then transfers over to when members of it race in individual meetings, like the GPs for example. But when you lose the love of your team, you also lose interest in what are merely then only individuals racing for themselves in the likes of GPs.

The racing is probably better now than in the past. But if you, as a fan, haven't got anybody you can associate with through teams not being teams anymore, you lose part of the thing that attracted you in the first place.

A good race is a good race. But when you aren't really bothered who wins it, that is the problem. You need to be tribalistic. Otherwise, why bother?  

In my opinion, fans have become unattached from the importance of team speedway. Teams in speedway nowadays are just like tribute acts for a pop band. They are a novel way of entertainment but only pretend to be the real thing. I used to think it impossible to miss a Belle Vue home match. But then riders began being signed who I knew weren't really Bele Vue. Slowly, as other riders appear who you think the same about, you gradually lose that connection. Hence that is why I can't be attracted to it anymore.

The sport could be so great. Me, as a former supporter just clinging on, would love to be able to identify a team as my own, something that makes you look forward to leaving the house to watch, to feel part of every individual in it. I want to see visiting teams with an identity. I want to see two sides who want to win, every rider in them.

It isn't the racing. 

Edited by moxey63
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