Jump to content
British Speedway Forum
Rob B

Why speedway is failing

Recommended Posts

Good video Paul Bowen has done explaining that doubling down has got out of control.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good watch and correct analysis.

The main mitigating factor for me, (beside the above video), is no promoting of the sport in the towns and cities where it is staged, period. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We all put it under the microscope but unfortunately speedway has gone out of fashion. In the 50's, 60's and 70's motorcycles were very popular and speedway attendances reflected this. In the golden days of the 50's most had a motorcycle but not a car. A lot of non petrol heads particularly young people haven't heard of speedway our jobs and culture don't integrate with our wonderful sport. Clearly our supporters and administrators are the wrong side of 60 but no one is to blame. We just need to be a little less anoraky and open the sport to a wider public. Mind you if your a couple speedway is a very expensive night out.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was a good video, had to watch it all the way to see the light.

Doubling either way is needed cos there are not enough riders to fill the teams. Even mid 90’s most of the riders in the leagues were foreign. More riders, less problems, not happening cos speedway is out of fashion.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No disrespect to Paul but it is stating the "bleedin' obvious"...

Clear demarcation within the leagues is a natural facet of any sport....

Organically. As you grow, you improve, and as you improve you move up a level, with those above you, who no longer can compete at that level, dropping down...

UK Speedway simply cannot afford such demarcation..

The top league couldn't fund teams of top level riders and the second division couldn't afford to run a team of the next level down and clearly the riders themselves couldn't fund riding in just one league....

I am sure promoters are clearly aware of the major issues they have to overcome to ever get the sport "successful" in the UK, however, let's be fair to them, and just say that it is simply beyond them given all the years of using such a ludicrous operating model and business plan....

Fair play to Paul for his views, and he clearly isn't wrong, however, if those who run the sport could run it "properly" I am sure they would..

As let's be honest, no one who wants to have a successful sport in the UK would ever actively choose to run it the way it is currently ran if they had alternative options available would they?

UK Speedway is very much set up to just provide riders with as much opportunity to earn as much money as can be possible to justify their often (given the size and rewards of the sport over here), huge outlays..

That will always mean doubling up and down and guest bookings galore to ensure it is worth their while..

It is what it is, and cannot change without a huge injection of cash from major sponsors to allow riders to ride for one team, in one league etc...

Major sponsors who unfortunately wouldn't go anywhere near it given the way it is ran with so little credibility and integrity as the riders ride for all and sundry on such an ad hoc basis.. 

A vicous circle that Speedway in the UK sadly can't ever get out of it seems...

Good though that someone within the sport obviously see its inherent flaws, (I actually think most within the sport do), and is prepared to voice his opinion..

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I now take speedway with a pinch of salt. I went to my nearest track Kent last night, not caring who was riding, just hopeful of seeing a few decent races for the £20 i shelled out. My expectations for the sport are low, so I'm not usually disappointed.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, secsy1 said:

A good watch and correct analysis.

The main mitigating factor for me, (beside the above video), is no promoting of the sport in the towns and cities where it is staged, period. 

At the risk of sounding like a repeating record (remember those!). You'd do well to know Speedway existed in Leicester and you'd actually have to go out of your way to find out we are the defending League and Shield holders. The "promotion" have done nothing with the titles they spend the whole year trying to secure... so what's the point in it all?

17 hours ago, Pieman72 said:

Clearly our supporters and administrators are the wrong side of 60

but all of the participants are the right side of 60... I don't know why there's such a disparity between those that watch and those that compete.

16 hours ago, mikebv said:

No disrespect to Paul but it is stating the "bleedin' obvious"...

Clear demarcation within the leagues is a natural facet of any sport....

Organically. As you grow, you improve, and as you improve you move up a level, with those above you, who no longer can compete at that level, dropping down...

UK Speedway simply cannot afford such demarcation..

The top league couldn't fund teams of top level riders and the second division couldn't afford to run a team of the next level down and clearly the riders themselves couldn't fund riding in just one league....

I am sure promoters are clearly aware of the major issues they have to overcome to ever get the sport "successful" in the UK, however, let's be fair to them, and just say that it is simply beyond them given all the years of using such a ludicrous operating model and business plan....

Fair play to Paul for his views, and he clearly isn't wrong, however, if those who run the sport could run it "properly" I am sure they would..

As let's be honest, no one who wants to have a successful sport in the UK would ever actively choose to run it the way it is currently ran if they had alternative options available would they?

UK Speedway is very much set up to just provide riders with as much opportunity to earn as much money as can be possible to justify their often (given the size and rewards of the sport over here), huge outlays..

That will always mean doubling up and down and guest bookings galore to ensure it is worth their while..

It is what it is, and cannot change without a huge injection of cash from major sponsors to allow riders to ride for one team, in one league etc...

Major sponsors who unfortunately wouldn't go anywhere near it given the way it is ran with so little credibility and integrity as the riders ride for all and sundry on such an ad hoc basis.. 

A vicous circle that Speedway in the UK sadly can't ever get out of it seems...

Good though that someone within the sport obviously see its inherent flaws, (I actually think most within the sport do), and is prepared to voice his opinion..

The rest button needs pressing with Speedway in this country, the sooner we realise we are not Poland and we are not Sweden the quicker the recovery of the sport will be. The people that currently go may like to stand around on wind swept terraces for 2 and a half hours in some cases watching 15 minutes of action. People's attention span these days just isn't there. Cricket has gone T20, they're going even less now with The 100, F1 are introducing sprint races, we need a 90 minute show with 30 races on standardised machinery for starters

Edited by iainb
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've said probably too many times now that the sport in the UK is for developing riders for Poland in the main then potentially Sweden, if you are a rider getting opportunities to ride in Polands top 2 divisions or in Sweden is a "goal" for all riders no matter what they say, its where the money is, its where progression is, so at the moment we are a training ground for many nationalities to learn their craft, improve their skillset and also go into the shop Window for Poland.

However, how many make it? not many! and what happens when they do make it, most of the time British Speedway is then left behind as they can't commit to it, which is not a dig, its just what it is.

So, what happens to the domestic riders who don't make it to Poland, how do they make the sport pay? which riders need to make the sport pay domestically?

British Speedways main event of its own calendar should be a British Grand Prix style championship, I would call it the "British Super 12 Grand Prix Championship" why Super 12? because it will feature 12 riders across 12 rounds, two rounds per month starting April, May, June, July, August & September fitting domestic speedway into a calender that does not run before April and does not run after September.

An example of the Super 12 Line Up could be Bewley, Wright, S. Worrall, R. Worrall, Cook, King, Lawson, Kerr, Nicholls, Harris, Ellis, Schlein - anyone who runs on a British Licence.

Format is simple 12 heats with riders getting 4 rides (one ride from each gate)  all points scored go into the overall standings table, top 4 from each round go into a "final" where there are no points added to the 12 heats scores but its called a "medal race" this gives us the overall winner of that GP round but also you have a separate medal table gold is 3pts, silver is 2pts, bronze is 1pt, the medal table is there to decide the overall winner in case of a tie, so for example if Cook and King end up after 12 rounds on 120 points each, the medal table comes into consideration to decide the overall winner, if the points are the same, its then who has most gold/silver/bronze finishes, if its identical then a race-off

Add to this championship with a Under 23 Championship consisting of just 8 riders, the line up could be Bickley, Brennan, Rowe, Flint, Kemp, Palin, Jenkins, Thompson purely as an example, they do as the main series but race over 8 heats then a final.

£20.00 entry for 20 heats which include the two-finals

Use the Eurosport contract to have every round "LIVE"

A series sponsor

Riders should be able to get decent sponsorship based on the guaranteed airtime over the 12 rounds on Eurosport and if the presentation was correct they could get a lot of coverage, riders can enter under "team names" similar to say British Superbikes, so say for Danny King if he's sponsored by Tru Plant he is entered under "Tru Plant Jawa" etc. more coverage for the brand, should be used in commentary etc. 

 

This kind of Championship and the whole winner-takes-all promotion is what people need to see in British Speedway, I believe this would engage new fans better, perhaps make people want to try speedway in terms of spectating at a one-off local event but if that venue then can promote their league racing we may capture new fans, its all about data capture and using it to promote speedway to new and existing people

 

League racing can still be a thing, I would only have two leagues which is similar to what Bowen has said above, I would revert to the old British League and National League format, I would say 10 team leagues in both, riding home & away once with a cup competition included to give more meetings, the British league is for any nationality to race, the National league are for commonwealth riders only, British League built to Championship standard now and National League being slightly stronger maybe then it is now.

 

Would like to see the BSPL set up a subscription style streaming service, priced at £6.99 per month for a 12 month subscription so £83.88 per year, if they can get say 200 fans from the 20 clubs plus pick up 200 fans from abroad who follow certain riders that would be 4,200 subscribers with a yearly revenue of £352.296.00

As part of the subscription package you receive

* 2 x British League or Cup Matches per month
* 2 x National League or Cup Matches per month
* 4 x Classic Speedway Meetings per month
* National League Riders Championship
* British League Cup Final both legs
* National League Cup Final both legs
* Downloadable Content including rider insights, rider interviews, behind the scenes, interviews with promotors etc.
* Mini Documentary series profiling ex riders, 60 minute long programs 

On top of this there can be scheduled events which are then Pay Per View events

* British League Riders Championship
* 5 Round Commonwealth Championship series featuring riders who commit to racing in the UK 
potential line up Kurtz, Bewley, Wright, Worrall, Lawson, Batchelor, Ellis, Crump, Cook, King, Allen, Nicholls, Masters, Schlein, Morris, Harris.
* 3 Round Inter-Continental Championship series again featuring riders who commit to the UK
potential line up Kurtz, Bewley, Crump, Cook, Jorgensen, Riss, Andersen, Batchelor, Ellis, Masters, Palm Toft, Becker, Klindt, King, Schlein, Pedersen
 

 

This gives a bit of everything for everybody, National League will see the top 3 riders in current championship not doubling down into it as they will just ride British League, then the european and american riders can only race in the British League, with the National League made up of British & Commonwealth riders.

National League is more semi-pro in terms of money, British League is just one professional league.

The goal for any domestic rider is to make Poland and the GP series but the British Super 12 Grand Prix Series is there for those that need to make racing pay domestically who are either not ready to make the jump to Poland or those who never will - it gives riders other goals

Less meetings I know league wise for foreign riders coming to the UK, I am talking about the top end ones as it will likely be 18-22 league/cup meetings however opening up other series such as the commonwealth and inter continental series, with some good prize money makes up for the short fall in league racing.

 

Just a few thoughts really

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't get the worry about having lesser riders in teams, going back when Ove Fundin turned up at Cradley was Ken Wakefield expected to beat him?  For years teams carried 2/3 point riders - experienced ones too, no names that wd be disrespectful (although i have named one) but they made up the 7 and did what they could. And they didn't get lobbed out after 3 matches

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

£20.00 entry for 20 heats which include the two-finals

Use the Eurosport contract to have every round "LIVE"

 

Every round live on Eurosport? That just encourages fans to stay home to watch rather than pay £20 at the gate.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, iainb said:

we need a 90 minute show with 30 races on standardised machinery for starters

I'd probably go back very regularly if that happens! Especially if they were on less highly powered bikes. But you would have to rename the sport then.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Midland Red said:

 

£20.00 entry for 20 heats which include the two-finals

Use the Eurosport contract to have every round "LIVE"

 

Every round live on Eurosport? That just encourages fans to stay home to watch rather than pay £20 at the gate.

British Superbikes as a prime example, every championship is LIVE on Eurosport every round yet they still get huge crowds

Why? Because potentially its more of a day out, its a one-off event for some that they see LIVE every year, its more of a spectacle

To make Eurosport and a £20 entry work will mean having to present a program LIVE at the track that will make people want to come over watching at home on TV,  most sports that are televised still generate a crowd, it would seem with league racing Speedway does not, so after all is the fan the problem for the sport? :)

I used £20 as a ball park figure, it could be less, it could be more

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you really make a 20 heat meeting a day out at each track?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Midland Red said:

Can you really make a 20 heat meeting a day out at each track?

Include Youth Speedway?

Some upright engined bikes races?

Some of the 'oldies' riding round on their Rudges, Japs etc?

Maybe a 'devil take the hindmost' where the last rider drops out after a mad one lap dash of racing?

Two riders starting at opposite sides of the track similar to the cycling pursuit?

With the "Grand Finale" at the end of four or five hours of entertainment...

Get the merchandise stalls there so fans can dip in and out of the racing...

Include some of the usual face painting, bouncy castles, beat the starter etc for the kids..

Maybe hook up a PlayStation too?

Something for the older generation and something for the younger including teenagers..

Raffle off some 'season/however meetings left tickets' for the club at say a fiver a ticket or sell some set amount of meetings tickets in a block eg next five matches, at discount special offer rates..

And probably most important of all, get some names, emails, mobile numbers, etc etc of those in attendance to target market them post that day..

Maybe even give everyone a club car sticker or a pen as a memento for them to take away too to a) get your name on a fair few cars locally, and b) those in possession of the items will have a tangible reminder of their day which they will see often..

As they start from so a very low base marketing and promotion wise, there is really so much which could be done..

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Speedway is very expensive for what it is. £20 for 15 one-minute races is a joke.

I can go to Lord's for £100 and watch play from 11am to 6pm. That's a whole day's worth of entertainment. You can also take your own food and drinks.

Take it down a level and you can watch County Championship matches for £10.

We need to reduce the cost of bikes and have more races. We should have 30 heats, rather than 15 at a very minimum!

Edited by KeirStarmerFan
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Privacy Policy