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Where have all the spectators gone?


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#1 carrotcruncher

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 13:03

Dear TNF'ers,
spent most of the dreary winter months looking at images relating to my home circuit,Snetterton.
Iparticularly noticed that the spectator count diminished significantly after the sixties and seventies.Have my own theories as to why this may be but I would be interested in other opinions .
Regards to all,
cc.

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#2 Russell Burrows

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 15:21

Dear TNF'ers,
spent most of the dreary winter months looking at images relating to my home circuit,Snetterton.
Iparticularly noticed that the spectator count diminished significantly after the sixties and seventies.Have my own theories as to why this may be but I would be interested in other opinions .
Regards to all,
cc.


http://news.motorspo...terton-300.aspx :eek:

#3 carrotcruncher

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 16:47

http://news.motorspo...terton-300.aspx :eek:

Russell i too have seen the publicity regarding huge crowds for the BSB,BTCC etc., but Ican recall the rows and rows of bikes parked up to the "fences"upon my first visit to snetterton in 1968,and what seemed like thousands wandering around looking at bikes and their riders in the paddock.
Now,when I visit snetterton I seem to know or recognise the majority of the spectators attending each meeting.I have to admit I deliberately miss the BIG meetings precisely because I cannot cope with the large crowds and sometimes the behaviour of the people at those meetings.
I agree mostly with Picblanc,though how anyone can get Value for Money paying twenty or thirty pounds to watch a footy match for around two hours,where I get a whole days entertainment for half that,I cannot understand.
I know that spectator income is minute in terms of running race circuits as a business,so surely we should follow our sport as often as we can,otherwise we may not have that choice much longer.
Regards
cc.

#4 Russell Burrows

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 18:31

3 day attendance? Often the attendance figure quoted is for all three days? If it is correct & just for the raceday then my apologies.
I am sorry I don't believe them, its in their interest to 'big' it up so that a series sponsor & TV keep interested.
The cynic in me perhaps?


Russell i too have seen the publicity regarding huge crowds for the BSB,BTCC etc., but Ican recall the rows and rows of bikes parked up to the "fences"upon my first visit to snetterton in 1968,and what seemed like thousands wandering around looking at bikes and their riders in the paddock.
Now,when I visit snetterton I seem to know or recognise the majority of the spectators attending each meeting.I have to admit I deliberately miss the BIG meetings precisely because I cannot cope with the large crowds and sometimes the behaviour of the people at those meetings.
I agree mostly with Picblanc,though how anyone can get Value for Money paying twenty or thirty pounds to watch a footy match for around two hours,where I get a whole days entertainment for half that,I cannot understand.
I know that spectator income is minute in terms of running race circuits as a business,so surely we should follow our sport as often as we can,otherwise we may not have that choice much longer.
Regards
cc.

I tend to agree, chaps. They seem to want us to accept the figures as one day's attendance. I wonder if they all paid, or at least paid the going rate? Since it was the first meeting at the new hairpin ridden circuit, one imagines they were desperate for a big crowd.

Edited by Russell Burrows, 19 February 2012 - 18:34.


#5 RC162

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:53


Well I went to the BSB at Snetterton for the 300 meeting and I saw a great event. Big thing was the weather. If you get a nice warm sunny day you can expect a better crowd. What was great for me was the large ammount of children of all ages around the circuit. They are the future of motorcycling and if you can get them interested then biking will continue. Also many were families and it is great to get that kind of support for the sport. Now you can winge about how the bikes look and sound but it was a race meeting and the racing was really good. If all you want to do is look at the bikes and pick out the differences then all you need is a bike show not a race meeting. Riders were accessible and facilities were good. For the kids of today these are their memories and when we old sods are pushing them up and not smelling too good they will be remembering now for what they saw and heard and this will be their 'classic' time.

#6 carrotcruncher

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 16:55

Dear RC 162 and Picblanc,
fully agree with both your points re footy and the fact that each has their own sport to follow.BUT, I chose to take my sons(2) and grandsons,together with their wives/partners along from a very young age to "enthuse"them with the bug me,needless to say some fell by the wayside (strangely mostly women-ulp)but if anything my own sons are more enthusiastic than their dad!
My grandsons are avid race goers,and I have trouble expaining to Josh,who is four,why there is no racing in the winter.My own sons are far more knowledgeable about the changes in BSB,World Superbikes and MotoGP than I,in fact Ihave trouble keeping up with them.
I count myself extremely fortunate to have witnessed. and been part of all the great events,Willhire etc.,and find that it is quite funny that my family now have to take me to follow my sport,whereas I used to take them!
Regards
cc

#7 RC162

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 19:25

Whose wingeing? if you think me? then read my comment again old chap.


Dear Picblanc if I had intended it in particular to you then I would have addressed it to you, you dear old thing !

#8 Adrian Godden

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 19:49

eeeeooop - Picblanc is correct - (my opinion)...it's a case of the 'boiling frog' ...place the beast in water in a pan, increase the temperature, watch him adapt and eventually die.....it didn't know what was happening but it adapted. Welcome to the modern age of proxy shafting.
The organisers of WSBK, BSK, MotoGP would argue that there was not enough "support" for a change - for whatever the issue may be but for all of us who have seen full grids, close racing, access to the riders and paddock at a sensible cost to the spectators, the now-a-day "big" meetings are mostly clinical, risk free and armchair theatrical.
So - the spectators are gone for the reasons Picblanc has mentioned. The cost for entry to the big meeting far outstrips the increase in income = "where have all the spectators gone" is question asked and can be answered by the "big" organisers - if you can get a truthful answer!quote name='picblanc' date='Feb 20 2012, 17:40' post='5537644']
Whose wingeing? if you think me? then read my comment again old chap.
[/quote]


#9 TZ350H

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 21:20


The numbers of spectators at the Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod used to be incredible. I can remember particularly during the mid/late 60s when crowds were estimated to be in the region of 100,000 and even through the 70s and 80s the attendances were still massive. More recently however this is no longer the case and it is now relatively easy to turn up and get a decent vantage point amongst a relatively sparse crowd. Gone are the days when a 6 am start was essential to get a good spot to watch.

#10 dommieracer

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 21:46

Having been a spactator in the 70's and early 80's and then to become a racer till the 00's and back to a spectator i have seen several things change and some not. Tracks to an extent have been improved, more advertising boards, bigger caravans/motorhomes for the faster riders and less crowds in the stands and more Bull from the track owners and TV commentators. Its a real shame that our sport has lost so many supporters to the armchair due to things like the tv coverage ( thats when we do get some ) but also down to the fact that the factories/sponsors wont let our so called top riders come home to do the odd race infront of us. I never saw the likes of Hailwood/Reid etc ride. But wouldnt it be nice for the odd top flight rider to turn up and ride in a domestic race. Look how John Hopkins did in BSB and missed some rounds too boot.

Kevin


#11 carrotcruncher

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 16:00

Dear dommie ,
well you have seen racing from both sides of the fence.Agree with most of the points you make, and I also watch some of the other circuit racing from my comfy armchair, but that is largely due to travelling and often very high admission costs.
I feel that IF spectators could be made a little more welcome,safety limits notwith standing,this might encourage a few of the younger people to enjoy our sport.
Still feel its very good value for money entertainment,however, and all my family and friends buy their passes in advance so as to save even more.
Regards
cc

#12 RC162

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 19:26

Dear dommie ,
well you have seen racing from both sides of the fence.Agree with most of the points you make, and I also watch some of the other circuit racing from my comfy armchair, but that is largely due to travelling and often very high admission costs.
I feel that IF spectators could be made a little more welcome,safety limits notwith standing,this might encourage a few of the younger people to enjoy our sport.
Still feel its very good value for money entertainment,however, and all my family and friends buy their passes in advance so as to save even more.
Regards
cc

I am with you on this as regards value. I have a bit of film on Youtube which at the start shows the admission prices for the 1975 Powerbike event at Brands Hatch. It was 1 pound for adults and 30p for kids. Well at that time I was on around 25 quid a week as a fitter so if I had a missus and two kids it would have cost me 2.60 which was about a tenth of my weekly wage. Kids now go free and adults can get tickets in advance for under 30 quid so this works out for me now just over a tenth of my weekly wage. There is better facilities now than I ever remember in the past and the circuits look much more the part. I am more than happy for the riders to have safer circuits, a good surface and excellent medical facilities all of which may have saved some of the lads who didn't survive their tumbles in the past. We now have live British National racing on the telly ( if you have the feed ) plus great coverage of the TT all of which goes global and that can only be good for the sport. There are a lot of things that I don't miss about 'the good old days' and only a few that I do.
PS Where have all the comments from Picblanc gone to on this topic ? Have they been taken off ?

#13 roger9650

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:17

I too remember the UGP in the 60s and the crowds were massive. In my opinion it's the one major race not to be missed. It wasn't by chance that the NW was once a very inferior meeting (and I wouldn't argue with those who say it still is), but the problem is that after standing at the exit to say Budore, even BSB is a bit tame, never mind the achingly boring leg waving MotoGP.
Could it be that in the 60s many riders turned out in at least 4 different capacity classes without seemingly being exhausted, and the races were longer too. Add to that the fact it is becoming increasingly essential to have dry roads - not always possible in the UK, so maybe meetings just aren't so attractive. I realise that the TT is still held in high regard by many, but perhaps less so by those who were privileged enough to witness the World Championship days, and they're fooling themselves if they think it's busy now, just look at any older pictures. My first visit was in 1962, the guy who took me had been going for years and told me that on the 1am sailing from L'pool on Senior day that old massive waiting room would be full with the queue spreading back out of the dock!

#14 Tonka

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 01:36

Back in the old days we'd get the start money specials, 3 or 4 world champions and they'd turn out for 3 or 4 races. When was the last time a world champion raced in the UK outside of a world championship event? Even a former world champion?
I could stand at most circuits and the bikes would be 20 feet away. Now you need a telescope to see them.
Then we get those fecking hooters going at it all fecking day.



#15 Sakkie

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:45

Back in the old days we'd get the start money specials, 3 or 4 world champions and they'd turn out for 3 or 4 races. When was the last time a world champion raced in the UK outside of a world championship event? Even a former world champion?
I could stand at most circuits and the bikes would be 20 feet away. Now you need a telescope to see them.
Then we get those fecking hooters going at it all fecking day.

Yes, the reasons you site have caused enthusiasts to stay home. But we must also remember TV wasn´t around in those days, so the actual number of people watching the sport has increased substantially.
Smaller crowds at trackside don´t necessarily mean less interest, just less people who are prepared to put up with traveling to the meetings and then having to put up with exorbitant prices for everything from entry to food and refreshments. And don´t lets even get started on the bogs. Dear me, even my dog would think twice before entering most of them. :eek:
Let´s face it, sitting in the comfort of ones home, with a grandstand view of the action all the way around the track, is hard to beat.

#16 fastfitter

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 19:39

Let´s face it, sitting in the comfort of ones home, with a grandstand view of the action all the way around the track, is hard to beat.



There's only so much money to throw about these days with the price of fuel and entry/food prices as you say above.

So if I've got a free Sunday and a major meeting is televised I'll record it for later and rack up a couple of hundred miles on the bike enjoying the countryside.

As previously mentioned, the trend for air-horns just about put the nail in my spectating too - twenty-odd strokers coming down Craner and the jerk next you starts blowing one of the damn things :confused: