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Rob B

Why speedway is failing

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The demise of speedway in the UK, for me, started a long while ago. Consistently reducing team averages constituted a dilution of the product on offer. Combined with ever increasing prices and value for money just went out of the window. Forget all the intervals, false starts, etc., speedway is in effect around 15 minutes of actual racing and for £18-£20 just isn't good value.

I go to Belle Vue every week, because I always have done. Would speedway, in its current format, attract me as a new follower - probably not.

For a conurbation the size of Greater Manchester, the crowds we get are really poor. Would they improve with better riders in the league, a reduction in pricing, better promotion in the local areas, well who knows?

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It's often been said but until speedway takes on an idependant body to run the sport (although signs are now it is far too late) it won't survice under its present remit. I don't go along with the view that individual promoters who have a financial stake in their own club would veto such a proposal. Other sports run perfectly well whereby individual clubs/teams have an input but overal responsibilty/decisions are made/approved at a higher level.

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4 hours ago, steve roberts said:

It's often been said but until speedway takes on an idependant body to run the sport (although signs are now it is far too late) it won't survice under its present remit. I don't go along with the view that individual promoters who have a financial stake in their own club would veto such a proposal. Other sports run perfectly well whereby individual clubs/teams have an input but overal responsibilty/decisions are made/approved at a higher level.

They do need someone to save them from themselves at times I feel..

I look at them sometimes like I would an "addict" as they often show some similar traits of the addicts I have had contact with..

ie A great desire for their fix (in this case Speedway and owning a team)..

A belief that what they do and how they run the sport is "acceptable" although deep down many will know it isn't...

A belief that they can make slight changes to improve their situation, but actually avoid ever solving any of the fundamental root causes that brings them so many issues..

A failure to seek, and then take, advice as to what is going wrong as the truth may be too hard to handle.. 

Keeping everything about them almost a secret and never letting anyone "from outside" in close..

And a justifying of their adhoc decision making to try and correct their latest self inflicted setbacks, rather than not inflict the setback on themselves in the first place..

With "Just making it through" seeming to be a clear sum of their ambition..

And just like addicts everywhere they will spend fortunes, yet have very little to show for it....

And by that in UK Speedway terms it means hardly anything in the way of national (and even local) cut through and recognition, and no major sponsor to lessen the money they put in as individuals.. .

Therefore you would think that they would at least seek some feedback and maybe do some information gathering as to why so few now attend compared to even ten or twenty years ago wouldnt you..?

The key for me as to who can help them are the many tens of thousands who sit at home each week and no longer pay their money into the sport in the UK...

Even more people than the ones who actually attend I would suggest.. 

Yet these people will still follow the results closely, and attend SON's, GP's, FIM meetings etc in the UK, and have a huge love of the sport. (And even travel abroad to watch league speedway)...

They just cant justify paying the kind of sums now expected to be paid to attend UK Speedway for the contrived output that is on offer..

Which is a shame, as the raw material of the product itself is fantastic...

It's just how it is packaged in the UK that lets it down, and dissuades so many from  purchasing...

With huge irony the Promoters are both the saviour and the destroyer of the sport in the UK, so maybe opening up to their fanbase (both those who still do and those who no longer attend) and accepting at face value what they are being told could be just what they need to help them move forward...

A great many love the sport and would be delighted to see UK Speedway flourish because, ultimately, everyone is on the same side....

As, if the sport disappears in the UK, (as it's current annual run rate of tracks closing suggests it eventually will), then we all lose..

 

Edited by mikebv
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1 hour ago, mikebv said:

They do need someone to save them from themselves at times I feel..

I look at them sometimes like I would an "addict" as they often show some similar traits of the addicts I have had contact with..

ie A great desire for their fix (in this case Speedway and owning a team)..

A belief that what they do and how they run the sport is "acceptable" although deep down many will know it isn't...

A belief that they can make slight changes to improve their situation, but actually avoid ever solving any of the fundamental root causes that brings them so many issues..

A failure to seek, and then take, advice as to what is going wrong as the truth may be too hard to handle.. 

Keeping everything about them almost a secret and never letting anyone "from outside" in close..

And a justifying of their adhoc decision making to try and correct their latest self inflicted setbacks, rather than not inflict the setback on themselves in the first place..

With "Just making it through" seeming to be a clear sum of their ambition..

And just like addicts everywhere they will spend fortunes, yet have very little to show for it....

And by that in UK Speedway terms it means hardly anything in the way of national (and even local) cut through and recognition, and no major sponsor to lessen the money they put in as individuals.. .

Therefore you would think that they would at least seek some feedback and maybe do some information gathering as to why so few now attend compared to even ten or twenty years ago wouldnt you..?

The key for me as to who can help them are the many tens of thousands who sit at home each week and no longer pay their money into the sport in the UK...

Even more people than the ones who actually attend I would suggest.. 

Yet these people will still follow the results closely, and attend SON's, GP's, FIM meetings etc in the UK, and have a huge love of the sport. (And even travel abroad to watch league speedway)...

They just cant justify paying the kind of sums now expected to be paid to attend UK Speedway for the contrived output that is on offer..

Which is a shame, as the raw material of the product itself is fantastic...

It's just how it is packaged in the UK that lets it down, and dissuades so many from  purchasing...

With huge irony the Promoters are both the saviour and the destroyer of the sport in the UK, so maybe opening up to their fanbase (both those who still do and those who no longer attend) and accepting at face value what they are being told could be just what they need to help them move forward...

A great many love the sport and would be delighted to see UK Speedway flourish because, ultimately, everyone is on the same side....

As, if the sport disappears in the UK, (as it's current annual run rate of tracks closing suggests it eventually will), then we all lose..

 

Brilliant post.

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On 9/20/2021 at 1:19 PM, ABS said:

The demise of speedway in the UK, for me, started a long while ago. Consistently reducing team averages constituted a dilution of the product on offer. Combined with ever increasing prices and value for money just went out of the window. Forget all the intervals, false starts, etc., speedway is in effect around 15 minutes of actual racing and for £18-£20 just isn't good value.

I go to Belle Vue every week, because I always have done. Would speedway, in its current format, attract me as a new follower - probably not.

For a conurbation the size of Greater Manchester, the crowds we get are really poor. Would they improve with better riders in the league, a reduction in pricing, better promotion in the local areas, well who knows?

Had better riders not so long ago, were the crowds any better? I think probs not. 

When Lynn had their successful few years in the Premier League we had teams that gelled together, lived together, were friends together, the fans loved the teams, the feel good factor was immense, we were winning everywhere, things couldn't have been better. 

Promotions need to allow the fans the chance to feel close to their team, to care about the team, to be as one as a club. Belle Vue do half a job with their 3 riders after the meeting being interviewed in front of a few in the grandstand but could do more, get all the riders in there, open up the 3rd/4th bend so the peasants on the back straight can walk round and attend the conference if they want instead of having to walk all the way round to the front of the stadium. Open up the pits before the meetings etc. The Belle Vue stadium is like a them and us stadium, hate that fact.

On a side note, absolutely pisses me off that after the British Final each year the sponsors board is put up so only the fans in the grandstand can see the riders being presented with the trophies, I was incensed this year, put it on the first bend so we can all see!!!!!!!!!!

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On 9/19/2021 at 12:44 PM, truthsayer said:

In the context of motorsports, speedway is very inexpensive. 

Without the fans to pay for even an inexpensive motorsport, which you suggest speedway is, then competitors will have to turn amateur.

Might not be such a bad thing. 

Edited by moxey63

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Almost every sport is essentially a 'participation' sport. In other words, people pay their dues and take part for their own entertainment. Then, at some level, people pay to watch and it becomes a 'spectator' or 'professional' sport. The amateur ranks far outweigh the professional ones.

British speedway is the only sport I can think of where the vast majority of meetings take place in front of paying spectators. But there are not enough riders and not enough facilities for riders to practice and develop.

There needs to be an amateur level. Not just an amateur level, but a predominantly amateur level. Seriously. 90% of British speedway should be amateur, 5% 'semi-professional' and no more than 5% fully professional. Speedway is a relatively cheap form of motorsport, especially at an amateur level.

For example, a rider in a support class at British super bikes will pay £400 for entry fees, £1000 for tyres and £100 for fuel each weekend. That's doing it cheap in one of the lower classes, and without the cost of buying the motorcycles (think £20k) and repairing them. Out of the 160-ish riders competing in BSB this weekend, I'd suggest 130 are paying for the privilege, around 20 are cost neutral and only a few are actually making a living. At club level, 100% are paying for the privilege.

Speedway doesn't have enough riders. This is the main flaw in the business plan.

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