There is no question about it, there are now going to be two stages of speedway life: speedway before coronavirus and speedway after coronavirus. I’m hoping that speedway after coronavirus is going to be better, and I’m here to explain to you why.
It’s fair to say, speedway has had its fair share of issues, but that has most of the time been balanced by plenty of good. Like a racer, there are more lows than highs in speedway, but it’s the highs that always keep you coming back for me. It’s the same when it comes to everyone else involved in the sport beyond being an innocent spectator.
As the saying old goes, you don’t really know what you have got until it’s gone, and I strongly believe that the coronavirus is going to teach us plenty of lessons – hopefully for the better.
Once the coronavirus comes to an end and we get back to racing, I feel that a lot of has / will change – and it’s going to be for the better. I feel that apart from everyone just eager to get back to the race track, everyone is going to be more appreciative when it comes to getting their speedway fix.
One of the biggest things that I feel needs to change with major tracks, along with improvement in terms of promoting events and such, is the season calendar. The key being, less is more. As we all know, the season just gone was cut short and there are going to be numerous major tracks and associations trying to cram one and a half seasons into one, but it’s just not going to work. Yes, I know everyone is going to be excited about going racing again but at what cost is that going to be?
There is question that next season is going to be tough, as most people are going to be struggling financially post coronavirus, which is going to hamper competitor numbers and their sponsorship support and in turn will hurt tracks and drawing spectators throughout the season with a lot of race meetings on the calendar.
So…what’s the key to trying to fix this issue, here are my ideas for major and club tracks: a limited calendar focusing on major events, not just running club race meetings with a handful of racers in the field, a calendar of major events will attract better competitor and spectator numbers, tracks and associations working together with their calendars and trying to avoid date clashes, and then here is my final idea a limited race calendar is going to help competitors continue in the sport.
Apart from this coming season, these things need to be implemented when it comes to the major and club tracks in future seasons, as it’s going to go a long way towards growing competitors and spectator numbers. If things like this don’t happen, this sport will simply turn into a back-gate sport, which for many seasons this sport has been slowly being turning into.
In closing, if we don’t make some drastic changes post coronavirus when it comes to the sport of speedway and its major and club tracks, then we certainly won’t have to worry about coronavirus wiping out the sport of speedway, we will be doing it ourselves.
Daniel Powell (Publisher and Editor of Totally Speedway)