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Matt Davis

Oxford Spires 2024

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11 hours ago, CrystalCastles said:

I think it's a very bold decision given the number of fixtures that need to be run. However it is an idea that nobody has the guts to try but could work.

British Speedway's inability to ensure that all teams end up completing the same number of fixtures before the cut off is poor, the number of rain off and number of fixtures that end up being crammed into the end of the year or becoming meaningless is poor.

However i also think that it's achievable for Oxford to run that number of fixtures, if they are run professionally and they have an approach of getting meetings on rather than calling meetings off.

It is understandable to see comments saying that it is going to be hard to see fans spending that amount of money to support 2 teams on a week to week basis because of the cost of admission prices.

However every year you see a significant proportion of Speedway fans saying that they want a regular weekly meeting because speedway should be every week and that a Stadium should be in use.

I think it's a reality that fans don't travel as much as they used to, following a Team Home and Away in really large numbers is a reality for Speedway Fans anymore. 

However watching attendances at Newport dwindle and subsequently becoming an irregular fan at Swindon and Somerset also gave me a much more realistic perspective around attendances.

When an attendance figure is mentioned regarding a Break Even point i do wonder what that point would realistically be, if clubs didn't have other income streams

Attendance wise a lot of tracks struggle when the weather is poor and other events are on, do well during the summer months and school holidays, and there is a benefit to successfully hosting major meetings are on e.g. Pairs/Fours/Rider Championships.

And it's always noticeable during Playoffs that attendances are up

However, I think Speedway's viability is entirely contingent on other income sources whether that be Sponsorship, TV Revenue, revenue generated from other businesses or owners who bankroll the sport.

That being said, regarding Oxford. They have had good crowds by all accounts, they have been run professionally.

Oxford has a sizeable population & people support successful teams. 

Most tracks have also seen the benefit of Emil joining Ipswich, which did have an impact in increased attendances. It's helped show that more Premiership clubs from a Club/Rider perspective are being run more professionally, and i think that has played a large part in other riders wanting to return to racing in Britain.

The other thing with attracting more top level riders back. It has the potential to appeal to more casual fans, TV fans, Fans of defunct Tracks.

I applaud Oxford for having the guts to try something different.

 

Clubs used to run every week with a 16 club British league,and still have spare dates for cup and individual meetings.

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48 minutes ago, Derrickn said:

Clubs used to run every week with a 16 club British league,and still have spare dates for cup and individual meetings.

That was when bikes and riders could cope with different weather and track conditions though.

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1 hour ago, Bagpuss said:

That was when bikes and riders could cope with different weather and track conditions though.

And riders didnt have contracts in several other leagues at the same time, ie Poland, Denmark, and Sweden which many UK riders race in two out of the three,  restricting their availabilty..

You have to admire the confidence they have in their product, however, getting both leagues completed to timeline has been found a "tad difficult" historically, so competing in both can only double a challenge that has seldom been met by those just competing in one..

At least they shouldnt go weeks (or a month as some have in the past), between meetings, however, the down side to that is if they do, due to weather, then the fans will be coughing up plenty in the last few weeks of the season if they want to watch every meeting, and that can mean they pick and choose which to attend..

At least they dont have the Jubilee Cup to arrange... :D

Hope it goes well for them, as they seem a progressive team of people..

 

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The idea that tracks have to have a meeting every week is pretty archaic. You can have too much of a good thing, especially in the current economic climate where people can’t afford to attend every week.  

I can’t think of any mainstream team sports in which a team has a home match every week either. People are not going to forget about speedway or stop going if there’s not a meeting every week. Look at the patchy fixture lists we’ve been exposed to in recent seasons. 

There’s a huge novelty factor at Oxford at the moment. The top tier team will become the novelty in 2024 and the Championship team will not be as attractive, especially when fans are picking and choosing meetings. Eventually the top tier novelty factor will wear off too. My concern is that they’re overreaching by making this move. 

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Not a decision I would have made but I'll be at every home match, won't be able to make every away match for each team as normal, don't have enough days holiday for a start !!!

Team wise, rumours  we will be competitive at least, I'll take that.

Janowski?? Vaculik??

Harris

Kerr

Hopefully Jenkins as RS

Seen Tungate and Klindt mentioned, Klindt has more to give after last season but think we would need a bigger hitting 2nd heat leader.

Wright normally goes well at Cowley.

Anybody who didn't ride here last year interested?

Edited by Hilly
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First we had riders doubling up to cover a shortage of riders, now we have clubs doubling up to cover a shortage of teams, it just gets worse.

I just can’t see how a club which has gone belly up before due to lack of crowds will be able to run both 1st and 2nd division teams.

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Surely this will be more succesful if the same core riders - maybe the top 4 or 5 from championship - are in both teams.

Imagine if, say, Sam Masters is at number one for the Cheetahs one week, then turns up riding against the Spires a week later and celebrating a last heat decider win, or getting excluded for knocking off and injuring an Oxford rider.

Then he's back for the Cheetahs a week later.

It would be a bit strange to say the least.

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27 minutes ago, Grachan said:

Surely this will be more succesful if the same core riders - maybe the top 4 or 5 from championship - are in both teams.

Imagine if, say, Sam Masters is at number one for the Cheetahs one week, then turns up riding against the Spires a week later and celebrating a last heat decider win, or getting excluded for knocking off and injuring an Oxford rider.

Then he's back for the Cheetahs a week later.

It would be a bit strange to say the least.

No stranger than having Bomber riding for everyone week after week..:D

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20 minutes ago, mikebv said:

No stranger than having Bomber riding for everyone week after week..:D

Yeah, but I'm talking about things that are out of the ordinary.

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2 hours ago, Grachan said:

Surely this will be more succesful if the same core riders - maybe the top 4 or 5 from championship - are in both teams.

Imagine if, say, Sam Masters is at number one for the Cheetahs one week, then turns up riding against the Spires a week later and celebrating a last heat decider win, or getting excluded for knocking off and injuring an Oxford rider.

Then he's back for the Cheetahs a week later.

It would be a bit strange to say the least.

 

1 hour ago, mikebv said:

No stranger than having Bomber riding for everyone week after week..:D

Or Jason Edwards guesting for Scunthorpe trying to knock Redcar out of the BSN series!

It would certainly make sense for Masters & Jenkins to double up, I'd have expected the second heat leader to do so as well, if it wasn't Nicholls.

Edited by szkocjasid

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A very brave move cause all the logic suggests its not viable.

 

The only place that in my long time following British speedway where I've seen 2 seven man teams at one track work was when Cradley ran at Wolverhampton a few years ago and even this fell by the wayside eventually. This worked cause Cradley was an exceptionally well supported club. Even back in the glory days of the late 60's and early 70's Belle Vue and King's Lynn tried running two teams at the same track in the the top 2 Divisions (yes they were only 2 Divisions in them days before anyone mentions it!) and eventually moved the lower tiered team to another venue (Belle Vue Colts moved to Rochdale while King's Lynn Starlets moved to Boston!) cause fans chose watching the senior team over the before mentioned lower tiered team. 

Most people who follow speedway haven't got the disposable income to follow two teams. 

 

What will likely happen if one of the Oxford senior teams is having a mare is that supporters will probably do what Belle Vue and King's Lynn supporters did back in the 1968-1970 period and chose to only watch one team.

 

I hope it works but speedways history, common sense and logic suggests not. 

 

 

Edited by 25yearfan
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12 hours ago, marko said:

First we had riders doubling up to cover a shortage of riders, now we have clubs doubling up to cover a shortage of teams, it just gets worse.

I just can’t see how a club which has gone belly up before due to lack of crowds will be able to run both 1st and 2nd division teams.

Can I point out that our closing had absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with crowd levels. It had everything to do with 1 of the 2 promoters that also ran another club. He did not pay anyone, riders (in fact a couple of mates who were in the team were going to refuse to race as they hadn’t received any payment for the whole time they were racing and were told they would be withholding their services and face a 28 day ban) medics, rent (speedway and the gym set-up) and rent on a house. There were massive debts left behind from memory to continue at the stadium (under the guy that was trying to get Exeter a new place) they wanted a 5 figure payment before they would talk about running speedway. That is the truth but all the gate money was taken. I am sure that this also hindered us getting back into the stadium sooner. If they did have falling crowds some of that is the way fans were treated and things that were said.

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1 hour ago, Debbi said:

Can I point out that our closing had absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with crowd levels. It had everything to do with 1 of the 2 promoters that also ran another club. He did not pay anyone, riders (in fact a couple of mates who were in the team were going to refuse to race as they hadn’t received any payment for the whole time they were racing and were told they would be withholding their services and face a 28 day ban) medics, rent (speedway and the gym set-up) and rent on a house. There were massive debts left behind from memory to continue at the stadium (under the guy that was trying to get Exeter a new place) they wanted a 5 figure payment before they would talk about running speedway. That is the truth but all the gate money was taken. I am sure that this also hindered us getting back into the stadium sooner. If they did have falling crowds some of that is the way fans were treated and things that were said.

I’m a passionate Oxford fan, but the original closure had a lot to do with crowd levels.

Colin Horton’s quote at the time was: “Crowds have been in the region of 400-500 for home meetings and we value greatly the support, but the harsh reality is that we need attendances of double those figures to even stand a chance of breaking even and I just don’t envisage that happening here.“

Edited by Bojangles
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The one positive is nomadic swindon and reading fans do come to cowley as its only option, however it must be a hell of a telly deal for em to go for it. 

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1. Robert Lambert 7.61
2. Rory Schlein - 5.89
3. Luke Becker - 7.03
4. Chris Harris - 6.36
5. Sam Masters 7.13
6. Lewis Kerr - 5.31
7. Jordan Jenkins

TOTAL 39.33

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