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Author Topic: why is racing dying and tracks closing?  (Read 4367 times)

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Offline CanadianRacingOnline

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why is racing dying and tracks closing?
« on: April 01, 2014, 11:08:08 AM »
why is racing dying and tracks closing?

Here are my thoughts on this and I would like to hear yours.

Fans going to tracks

1. There is so many things for kids to do these days.

2. It has become to expensive to go to races. Gas Prices to get to a race, Race Tickets, Food

Racers

1. It cost a lot for a racer to race. buying Car & Parts, Gas for Race Car and gas to get car to the track, Other Racing Fees.

Can small local track racing survive in this day and age.





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why is racing dying and tracks closing?
« on: April 01, 2014, 11:08:08 AM »

Offline Cook06

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Re: why is racing dying and tracks closing?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2014, 12:40:16 PM »
Well I know for sure being younger that a lot of my pears would love the chance to race a car.
But with the rules it makes it really hard to be competitive and keep it cheap.
If every track could just make a for fun series or a street "STOCK" series i'm sure you would see higher car counts.


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Offline Shadowracer

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Re: why is racing dying and tracks closing?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2014, 04:16:37 PM »
Because modern racing operates on a flawed business model.

A: Racing, as a sport, takes itself too seriously with regards on how it is presented to the fans. That hurts ticket sales.

B: Competitors are spending an unreasonable amount of money for the return they get on it.  For so many years drivers, particularly in the high end divisions have complained that the payouts aren't enough to justify their costs. The reality is that its the other way around. Driving a 40000 dollar race car to make 600 to 1000 to win makes no reasonable sense, and it leaves the fields less full because the only ones still left are the better-funded hobbyists. What tracks need is a reasonably affordable main event division, not scads of cheaper-option undercard divisions.

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Re: why is racing dying and tracks closing?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2014, 04:16:37 PM »

Offline northernequipmentsolution

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Re: why is racing dying and tracks closing?
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2014, 09:37:22 PM »
1.     Tracks seem to spend a lot of time trying to cater die hard fans, drivers and teams.  In my opinion if you want to expand the following, you need to push promotions towards families, because what you really want is the casual fans to enjoy themselves, they will hopefully bring new or different friends the next time and so on.

2.     Facilities need to be upgraded, I am not talking about banking/track stuff, but bathrooms, seating,  food canteens etc., many tracks lack in this IMO, if the wife and kids don't want to go, then guess what?  you ain't going.  A lot of tracks don't seem to want to spend money on fan amenities, look how other sports, and entertainment has changed in the last 25-30 years.  I swear some of the tracks I went to as a kid still have the same wood on the bleachers, same broken toilets in the washrooms, etc. 




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Offline cardriver

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Re: why is racing dying and tracks closing?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2014, 01:35:30 AM »
Or maybe you just need to open your eyes;

There are no tracks closing this year it was only a rumor with Varney. The contrary, there is a track re-opening Kawartha.

Sunset, Peterborough and Kawartha already have record registrations this year.

Go to a race once in awhile and you will see what is really happening.

Purses to match the classes LOL. Its a $500-$1,000 to win sport, even NASCAR purses don't cover the expenses. Only way the purse has any relevance is if you have a $499 to $999 car and need a box of Kraft dinner.

$40,000 LM - pffff - the average tow rig is worth more than that. The car is pocket change to play the game.

Always was and always will be a sport of whoever has the bigger wallet. Match the class to your wallet and if that doesn't work buy a seat in the stands and shut up.

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Offline CanadianRacingOnline

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Re: why is racing dying and tracks closing?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2014, 08:39:29 AM »
Tracks are not drawing the crowds they used too that is what I'm talking about and I'm not just talking about this year. I'm talking about the past 5 to 10 years. You look at old photos and the stands are full and now you go to the tracks and they are not full.





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Offline don91

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Re: why is racing dying and tracks closing?
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2014, 09:51:21 AM »
Lol!!!, if you need a 60,000. plus tow rig to get your car to the track and impress everybody along the way,so be it.
As for crowds, i know from way back in late 60`s until mid 80`s stands at most tracks where packed as opposed to present.
May have a lot to do with new generation not taking interest in the sport, more entertainment now than years ago to attend.

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Offline Steviebird31

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Re: why is racing dying and tracks closing?
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2014, 09:08:53 PM »
Good comments above,
I have been a spectator for many many years at sunset, seen big crowds and small ones.
Track owners come and go, changed race night formats good and bad.
I think in today,s economy if the tracks want more people in the stands they should consider some of the following idea's.

1) Race night formats need to change, shorten the program and start earlier.
You want family's there , moms and kids don't want to stay out in late May of Sept until 11;00pm or later.

2) Change the gate price to something respectable.Like $10 adults $7 seniors and kids under 13 free.
If you have more kids and family's and the stands are packed, how much more food and booze will be sold.
That's the profit generator.
3) As much as I hate to say it bring back King off the hill, Bike races for the Kids, and even the bus races form time to time.

4) Put a state of art Play ground in for the Kids, like we had at the driving movies when I was a kid.
Mom and Dad can what racing while the Kidd's play and get dirty all night.
They can't play under the bleachers any more.
If the Kidd's have an awesome time they will nag Mom and Dad to go every weekend.

5) Yes, as said above UPGRADE the bathrooms for the ladies.
If they have a clean place to fresh in up and have a clean pee, they wont mind coming with there Man every weekend..
Also if as stated in point 4 they don't have to look after the brats all night long, they will be back.

6) Now for us drivers,
More drivers need to mingal with the fans, come out of the pits, talk to the kids, shake some hands.

7) More Money for pay outs.
This can only happen if the stands are full!!!

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Offline oldbill

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Re: why is racing dying and tracks closing?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2014, 12:22:34 AM »
I also attended many races starting in the late 60's through the 70's into the early 80's.
It is certainly not true that the stands were full on regular race nights at the tracks. I spent many nights at Cayuga & Speedway park back then in nearly empty grandstands. At Flamboro, the stands might be 1/3 full on a regular night. Better attendance than now perhaps but not great.
For specials the stands were packed but specials were really special. Back then specials attracted the top drivers from all over Ontario and the states and were heavily advertised and promoted.

Why is racing dying?
Rules packages - Back then all tracks ran basically the same rules. It was easy to go to another track and race. Today different tracks and different series run different rules. Not easy to travel.
Find a rules package that provides performance and is cost effective. Ban the expensive stuff that drives up cost.

Performance vs. handling
Today's cars are fast. Faster than in the past but they don't handle well. Result - one groove tracks and many serious crashes = expensive repairs.

NASCAR & TV - Back then only a few NASCAR races were televised live. Now there are 3 races every weekend. Why go to the track when you can sit at home and watch NASCAR on your big screen TV.

Cost - not just the cost of the racecar which has actually stayed pretty constant but the cost of everything else, tires, fuel, food, parts, etc. In the old days, if you won a race or had a good finish, you covered your costs and went home with a few bucks in your pocket. Today, even if you win, you are probably losing money. You survive on sponsorship money and most teams are on a tight budget.



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Offline MarkDilley

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Re: why is racing dying and tracks closing?
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2014, 09:15:21 AM »
I will just touch on a few things that I can see the biggest changes are.
I love the idea of play grounds I am all about the kids unfortunately they are an insurance nightmere I believe that the speedway has to supply 1 adult for every 15 kids  you must remember these are not public areas they are owned by privately there for responsibility is on tracks.
On a track side there are a lot of differences in cost over the years I will give you an example of cost change and this is over the past 12 years, cost of a worker in a consession back then $40 per night, today 12 per hour x 9 hours $108 now add your WSIB, UI and all the rest of our Gov shit and you come up with $130 per night, doesn't sound like much but when you times it by 55 people you come up with $7150 compared to $2200, it sucks but it is no different then all of us live every day.
On a car side and tracks working together I think it is getting better on a LLM side you now have Barrie, Sauble and Sunset with almost identical rules, on Late Model side Flamboro and Delaware have teamed up so I think all this will help going into the future,One thing we must remember is back in the day cars could go to many different tracks but there was not all the different classes that today brings us and that is just world change in everything you went to buy a TV there was 2 different ones you go today and you need a day to look at them all, world has so many options now.
Must get to the race track now I would love to chat all day about this because it is my future also but I must go and clear some snow so we can race before June.
I do know one thing without racers there are no race tracks, without race tracks there are know racers but most of all without fans there is nothing it is one big happy family we don't get along all the time but we are all in it together.
Mark

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Offline CanadianRacingOnline

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Re: why is racing dying and tracks closing?
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2014, 04:12:48 PM »
Great comments by all.

Imagine a team going too 3 different tracks in a week with today's gas prices?

Nascar is really boring these days and I feel watching a local track is better then a race on TV any day of the week.

My daughter used to like going to races but now she is getting older and would rather do other things. I guess if you grew up around racing and your family were at the track every weekend you enjoyed it more as you had friends at the track sorta a racing family??

Yes wages is a big factor these days and tracks can't raise the admission or food prices that much as people would complain about it.

Here is the funny thing you go anywhere else like NASCAR, Movies or other Sporting Events. They charge a lot for the ticket, Food is prices are  way to high.

I'm glad I don't drink, as I was at a Kiss Concert last year and Beers are $20.00 for a tall boy. That is nuts. 5.00 for a bottle of Coke Zero. I buy 6 Coke Zero's between 1.97 and 3.99

Going to a local track is the most affordable event these days.







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Offline jcrashm2

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Re: why is racing dying and tracks closing?
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2014, 06:28:06 PM »
great post mark...pavement tracks have  to work together...on dirt down this way the rules are basically the same at each track and they schedule their events not to step on each other and it helps...ohsweken friday nites, ransonville NY friday nites, merrittville saturday nites humberstone sunday nites..you can watch a number of drivers doing 2 of 3 every week...u can also see a few doing one of these and a pavement track another nite...a few years ago a handful did all 3 every weekend...someone won all 3 mini stock championship one year not too long ago...personally i wish flamboro would have gone to limited lates awhile ago but hopefully the delly deal works out for both...

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Offline JAMR2

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Re: why is racing dying and tracks closing?
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2014, 10:48:14 PM »
...someone won all 3 mini stock championship one year not too long ago


#28 Abel Castelein, Mini Stock Triple crown, 2008 I believe.

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Offline cardriver

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Re: why is racing dying and tracks closing?
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2014, 12:58:37 AM »
6) Now for us drivers,
More drivers need to mingal with the fans, come out of the pits, talk to the kids, shake some hands.

LOL.. Ever sit in the stands? Unless you are maybe Tom Walters no one knows who you are, nor do they care. Try telling them and you will be met with some BS war story about how they used to race dirt with Earnhart. You usually don't make that mistake twice. Same with fan appreciation, doesn't matter who you are, its what you are giving out. Paint you mini with a roller, spin out every lap, but give away a cooler full of pop and some bags of chips and you will be the man. Any fan who cares on a racing level buys a pit pass and is going to stop by your pit. Every meaningful racing conversation with a fan has been in the pits, "Have you got any more candy" is the extent of other fan interaction. Its already an approachable sport for those who care.

Last thing any track needs is sideshows. Build a playground? Why? What does that say? It says our show is boring here is something better to entertain you. Same with sideshow performances. Our racing sucks so lets flip a bus, maybe that will be an improvement. Best way to kill anything is to try and upstage your own show - especially with crap. The bread and butter isn't the family with 3 kids that couldn't care less about racing and want to play on a swingset, you may see them once a year. Your bread and butter is the race fan who is there every night to watch the race. Piss them off with sideshow crap when they came to see a race and they will go to a real racetrack. You've lost a season's pass of tickets not just one. Peterborough when they were hurting for cars a few years back tried the sideshows. It did nothing - literally nothing. Now there are cars and there is racing the place is packed.





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Offline cardriver

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Re: why is racing dying and tracks closing?
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2014, 01:04:54 AM »
One thing we must remember is back in the day cars could go to many different tracks but there was not all the different classes that today brings us and that is just world change in everything you went to buy a TV there was 2 different ones you go today and you need a day to look at them all, world has so many options now.

Guys like Chenoweth can still travel even in different classes and still win. AC and the Velocity are filled with competitive cars from different tracks. Maybe 5% of the guys travel anyhow, and some that do, do it just for the fun of running another track.

Not that big of a deal.

Make the rules the same - ok - so what does that do for me? I can try to run two tracks at the same time on the same night? Nevermind even if the rules are the same word for word the setup is different. LOL Like to see that done.

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