I heard several versions of the size of the crowd Saturday at SpeedWorld ranging from 60-200 people in the grandstands… What is it gonna take to get people to come out and watch a show at OSW??? Nothing seems to work but Smash-Ramma stuff… I asked Dick Anderson his thoughts about it Sunday at Citrus… His comment - “We brought 31 cars… We did our part…”
Boy, you could write a book on that subject. The short version is, yeah it’s pitiful that in a market area as large as Orlando all you can get to show up in the stands is a few hundred people. But, face it, it’s been that way for at least a couple decades. You’re fighting all kinds of history. First and probably most importantly, Speedworld is in Bithlo which is just plain “the wrong side of the tracks”. Decent people (read the casual fan) just plain won’t go there. It has the stigma of being redneck heaven with the drinkin’ and fightin’ and all that goes along with that. Like you said, the only thing that will really pack the place is the redneck events where you’re TRYING to attract that crowd, or the PRI shows where the people are from out of town and don’t know any better and are IN town for the races. From what I can see, it’s not a whole lot different in most other non-racing oriented urban markets around the country. I’m in Arizona now, and Phoenix which is around a 1.5 million market area is pretty much the same. Even Manzanita, before it closed, was only pulling maybe 1500, 2000 people for a regular Friday night or Saturday night show. They were only able to pack the place a few times a year for the national level events where people traveled from far and wide to attend those particular shows. You’re gonna be facing a LONG hard uphill battle to try to build up a fan base to get people to come out for local level short track races anymore in this day and age. And it would be a labor of love, that’s for sure, because if you ever sat down and did a “cost-benefit” analysis on it, it sure ain’t anywhere NEAR profitable.
Odd about Bronson also. Great little track, very clean,good food; but out in the sticks. Closest big town,25 miles away, is Gainsville. A college town full of parties and drinkin’. Oh did I mention, no beer hut at Bronson…:fragend005:
Not much local promotion either. The drivers did most of the promoting. Some of my fans from Ocala days came to see me and others at Bronson, but not enough to make a difference. I would see them at Ocala on Friday night and over in Bronson for the Saturday races too. Same classes every race did not help: no variety.
I don’t really have the answers, but I do know some of the problems.
Like it’s said in business," if you don’t advertise guess what happens—NOTHING. jmo
every one i talk to says the grandstand admission is to high . along with the concession prices . and getting there on a friday nite is a nightmare . move it to saturday nite or sunday afternoon .
I think we should have something a little more exciting, like every other week.
such as a demo derby, or classics or enduro race or do something like rusty would do and make strictly go backwards. I ran 3 times I think where we pulled of pit road and turned right to race, I was watching people leaving once they seen us pacing the race backwards they were stopping to watch, most sat back down. I won the race that night and when it was over and I got out of the car to get my photo taken, It looked like the crowd was lined up to come on the track for autograph session.
It has the stigma of being redneck heaven with the drinkin’ and fightin’ and all that goes along with that.
yeah? so why aren’t the rednecks showing up?
you been watching any of “Madhouse”? their race track is downtown but it’s still chock full of rednecks in the stands.
First and probably most importantly
5 Mini Stocks
2 Strictly Stocks
there, fixed that for you.
I think the some of the problems most tracks are facing is competition. Not with each other, but with bowling alleys, movie theaters, mini golf, High School Football on Fridays, most our kids play soccer or baseball on Saturday’s and we’re all tired and burned out by race time. Family’s are keeping a close eye on their entertainment dollars and you have a lot of different venues competing for that dollar. Throw in a Sat. nite Cup or Nationwide race and it’s that much easier to stay home…
The internet: It has done more harm than good for local tracks. All the complaining and crying on message boards these days make bad situations snowball, nay-sayers feed of each other and get people who may not have ever even heard about an inncedent get all rawled up. So “one bad apple can spoil the bunch”. Not only that, but hell, I don’t have to go to a race anymore. I can sit home and log on the internet, with in minutes I know who won, and may even be able to see a video of it. I can come right here for all the gossip and rumors…
Finally, we’re not doing much to bring new fans to the sport. Kids these days aren’t building Camaro’s as hot rods anymore. They have tuner cars, Honda’s, Toyota’s etc with turbos and nitros. They have zero interest in watching Monte Carlos and Novas these days. Ask an average 16 year old what a Carburator is and/or does…
Here’s an idea
Bring the dirt Late Model cars to Orlando for a 100-lapper! Heat races, a last-chance race with the top four getting into the feature. NO TIME TRIALS! Put the fast guys in the back.
I’d be in for that one!
Keep grandstand admission at 10 bucks for that show
Bring back heat races! Only run ONE heat race if there’s 12 cars or less. This will give the guys track time that may get there late; or just plain need seat time.
Write the rules so that you can attract cars from other tracks - Auburndale, Inverness, Bronson, Ocala, Volusia…
Some of the reasons that my friends told me that prevent them from coming out to OSW are things such as low car counts, price of admission , and the show actually dragging out too late. I can’t begin to tell you how many times iv been asked why are there only 5-7 cars in that class and ‘‘why is their race so long?’’ I know for many racers it may not be fair to shorten races just because some of their competitors didn’t show up, but at the same time some times it’s just not fair to the fans either. On the same token iv been asked why the fast cars start up front in the divisions with a better car count. I see that a lot of people have said that price of admission is high and I agree 100% with that. For many high school /college students $15-20 a night to watch any race is quite a bit much. I honestly think it should be $10 flat rate to get in. As for the show being drawn out too late; I think sometimes even the drivers get a little frustrated with 7-8 divisions running in a night. I really hope things get better this year. I like OSW, great place and extremely close to home for me.
Maximum: four divisions in a night. Alternate the Super LMs and the Open wheel Modifieds from week to week. Alternate Limited Late Models and Sportsman; and alternate Super Stocks and Mini Stocks. Let the Strictly Stock guys run every week.
So, one week:
SLM, Sportsman, Super Stocks, and Strictly Stocks
Open wheel Modifieds, LLM, Mini Stocks, and Strictly Stocks
Run a Special event once a month:
Bring in the “regular” Figure 8 cars a few times during the season; bring in a DIRT LATE MODEL show ;-); run a FAST show twice a year; and on Governor’s Cup weekend, run a special SLM show with NO TIME TRIALS! Give the fans some more racing! Promote it as “The central Florida ACTION TRACK”!
they tried that alternating classes last year . didnt work so well . especially when you only have 5 or so cars per class on a good nite . if the racer isnt racing every week they tend to lose interest , or go elsewhere . the only way the car count is going to improve is to raise the payouts equal to the competing tracks across the state . and sorry if your charging me $15 or $ 20 bucks to get in , i want 7 or 8 classes , heats and features ! and if it takes till 1am to complete , thats fine , i made plans to go see some good racin , the more bang for my buck the better . i aint in no hurry to go home .
Put the DIRT down and the cars and fans will come. Look at VCS all most every class was no less then 20 cars a night and the stands are rocking.
Come on now… Please not everybody wants dirt… I don’t have a problem with dirt, as I have raced both dirt and asphalt… But OSW and NSS are awesome asphalt facilities and with the proper promotion and reasonable grandstand pricing… I for one do not want to see them go away, and yes I know track owners are out for profit, but it takes time to build something back up and it takes more than two weeks to get people to come on out at lower entrance fees (as well as pit fees) before you raise them back up… Honestly, no business nor business person can expect an immediate turnaround… Please that just doesn’t work out…
On the racer side, payout isn’t always the drive, but at the very least make the payouts uniform with other tracks so that drivers can at least make a reasonable decision if they want to come on out to a track to race… I know several racers that don’t race at NSS and OSW because they can drive a couple hours and at least get there entry fees back…
Have a great day all…
OSW is reasonably close to where I live yet I hardly go. Last year I didn’t really go at all because they didn’t have many sprint car races, but the fact remains that when I did go the place was virtually empty.
I think OSW has kind of painted itself into a corner for the special, non-traditional racing events. Can’t blame them, they’ve got bills to pay. I live over here and everyone I know goes for the boat trailer races, smash-em ups, etc. But never for the big races.
I’ve been saying it for years, but Bresnahan hit the nail on the head. OSW could lead the way with modern day four cylinder car racing and should.
I’ll be there for the sprint car races this year, but I’m sure I’ll be able to walk up to all the fans and introduce myself personally and remember their names, because there won’t be many of them there if history is any indicator.
I have said this numerous times in here and it has obvioulsy fell on deaf ears or blind eyes…
You are all correct, their is a stigma attached to Bithlo but I think that could be overcome with marketing and giving away tickets at the numerous schools that are within 20 miles of OSW. Hell, there are 40,000 students at UCF alone. The 417/408 extensions h ave made it a lot easier to get there from a lot more places.
Here is what needs to be done…on crash a rama nights there are well over 10,000 people there. If the management would invite 12-15 SLM racers and offer free entry and a set of tires to run a 50 lap “exhibition” race before the festivities and let the 10,000 people actually see what a real live race is like, and then offer the 10,000 fans 1/2 price admission with their crash a rama ticket stubs over the next month or two so they can see an entire show they would gain numerous fans.
That along with normal marketing and running a quickly paced show and yes offer compettive payouts to the racers, (I actually have also proposed a pay per lap with a little bonus to win and lead laps) and it may get back to the days of old.
Just my two cents.
the cross promotional stuff is a good idea. but pointless as long as the weekly show is as bad as it is.
Make the beer and admission cheaper to get the college kids. Eh, here’s the tricky part: A lot of people just don’t care… about traditional short track racing.
And I don’t think you can make people care when they’re not raised to care. But everyone cares about cheap beer. They may even enjoy the novelty of the racing and such.
Heck, the cheap beer on Wednesdays made Ocala Jai Alai again.
Jai Alai is a great night out, always has been that way; just went last Friday night to the Orlando Fronton Jai Alai, and the crowds are picking back up again. I think that Jai Alai is alot of fun, and even though I was with my parents who are in their 80’s, they really enjoy Jai Alai also-- and this is from big-time gambling Las Vegas residents.
Beer really didn’t have all that much to with it, but it was there. Noticed that the crowd all around was also somewhat younger than in years past; lot’s and lot’s of college-aged folks were everywhere. And after talking with a bunch of them, they all simply just wanted something fun to do on a Friday night. They were having a ball, and they would be having a ball anywhere they were at.
I told them about SpeedWorld/Short Track stock car racing, and they seemed pretty interested about it.
I’m doing what I can to promote it—and the beer thing/festive atmosphere thing, too.
To get a better car count you need a tire rule. Letting people buy tires every week is not good for car counts.Some guys have a hard time just to afford to go racing every week without having to buy tires to be able to race up front.The lower classes should have a tire rule. Some guys in super stocks are buying tires every week. And some guys can just barely afford to get in the gate.:ernaehrung004::grinser010:
Some guys in super stocks are buying tires every week.
your ( heh ) Super Stock champion has already said he’d be happy running on DOT tires. DOT’s would also be harder to hook up, helping to level the playing field with those multi-thousand dollar professionally prepared motors.