9. Once back in the stands, notice is there a flow to the program? Does it seem to have a beginning, middle and an end? Does it seem like there is a sense of momentum building as the night moves on… like working toward the 4th quarter of a football game… or the last period of a basketball game or hockey match… or does it seem to have a few peaks with big valleys (slow times) in between. (Take notes…)
10. How was intermission handled? Was it the old model of making it so undesirable that people would feel compelled to leave their seats and go buy a hotdog, or was there still a level of “entertainment” for those who chose to stay in their seats (contest with the kids… giveaways… driver interviews in front of the stands…) Was it too long? Was it “professional?” (Take notes…)
11. Evaluate the “headlining act”… Was it worthy of the title? Was it built up by the announcers as the headliner? Was their event run efficiently? Did it have high value? Did you want somebody to win/or somebody to lose? If you were a first time fan, would you have known that it was the headlining act, or did it seem like just one of many other races that rolled out onto the track? Was that one event worth at least 1/2 of the admission price?
12. How was victory lane handled? Too short? Too long? Too detached from the majority of fans? Was it fan friendly or did the importance seem to be more on it being photographer/sponsor friendly? (Take notes…)
13. Finally, at the end of the night… get up… grab your blanket… head straight for your car/truck and go home and review your notes….
14. Over the next 3 days, create a list of necessary changes… Over the next week, get people who can help implement and manage the “new ideas”…. Assign staff and/or have staff volunteer to champion each item until all are assigned out to somebody who will make it their responsibility to manage the specific change. Start with the stuff that can be changed right now… and change them. As for the items that will take longer, take the beginning steps so that those ideas are in motion and monitor their progress week over week. Continue to monitor the progress or lack of to all of the changes to see if they are meeting with the desired results. Continue to manage and adjust.
15. Every 2nd week, spend the entire night in the stands again. Look for what is improving, and look at what is still in need of fixing…
Recap: If as the owner/promoter of the track you get to the point where you wish you could just sit in the stands EVERY WEEK… because the show is so compelling, unpredictable and fun…. then congratulate yourself on a job well done! If not, then keep making the adjustments… keep making the improvements until you get to that point.
If you continue to find yourself bored, un-entertained…, and don’t look forward to sitting there, and would much rather be running around with a headset on… or in and out of the pits… or sitting up in a tower somewhere “managing the show”… then consider appointing someone who will sit in the stands and will take on the responsibility of documenting the issues… And then be willing to give that someone the authority and resources that they will need to manage the process and to make the changes that will help grow the sport, spectator side first.
February 13, 2012 at 12:48 pm
This email message was sent to me from Joe at 3 Wide, it reads;
The problem with short track racing is the show is not compelling, unpredictable and fun enough to make it as an “entertainment” event which enough of the average public is willing to take time out of their busy schedule to pay money to attend. Until someone takes the lead on fixing it from the spectator side first, it will continue to be a back gate driven sport, meaning the competitors will have to pay more of the share… the show will continue to get less fan friendly (less enjoyable) to the average fan… (a night with many low value races just to satisfy the driver’s “track time” who paid the freight).
Many tracks today don’t even get enough cars to line up a full feature, yet they still have “heat races”… So they’ll sometimes get about 17 cars for what should be a 24 car class… and yet they’ll still run 2 or 3 heats and make the justification for the heats be that the first 5 finishers of each heat get to “draw for the top 10 feature starting spots…The whole time the first time fan… or average fan is sitting there thinking ” Big freakin’ whoop…”
There as to be a reason to run a race… Somebody has to win… Somebody has to lose… Any track that tries to fix things by starting in the pits… and the tech shack.. is doomed to fail.
Joe (aka 3-Wide)
February 11, 2012 at 7:57 pm
The tracks are naturally money driven.
Yes there is the issue of overhead,insurance,the staff,etc.
The cost to the racers though is out of control,the mid to hi end racer probably does not feel the crunch like the little guy.
Motors are a heavy cost factor,and the crate engines might be helping.
But the motor costs are absoulutely crazy.
All divisions should have a crate motor,same c.i. for a particular class,that would be universal for many tracks.
Tires,fuel and the cars are all a tough nut to deal with from the point of the little guy,and without the little guy, there would only be about 10 or so cars each week.
A lot of the promotors, figure the cost of a pit pass,for owner,driver and at least 4 crew members in on each car, for as many divisions as each track might have,wow the back gate covers the purse,after that the grandstand or gate is usually profit.
Today most promotors have the fuel and the tire concessions also.
Then there are the concession stands,and the sponsors who kick in to the track for the year or by the event.
Look at AC TQ’s indoor racing series,a muffler rule,and I only know about the TQ’s about 80 + cars with a cost of $100.00 plus for each muffler for each car,was it any quieter,not in the least.
As far as fuel,cars must go in empty and no gas allowed in the trailers,all cars,carts etc,and it was about $3 more a gallon,but the fueler was a support sponsor.
Thursdays practice was $50.00 for each of the machines there, TQ’s 80 + and the other divisions,600′s slingshots and go-karts,an estimated 200 race cars.There was an $80.00 per car, pre registration.
There was a $60.00 pit pass per driver, owner, an estimate of a minimum of 4 crew members,also the cost of the food at the concessions stands.
The big tires in the infield,think of the money cost to repair all the cars that got rammed into them by over anxious drivers and on and on.
So the cost is way out there,just for that series.
The average fan does not even like to see all that beating and banging,but I do know the time has come to start putting those drivers and their cars to the rear or out of the race entirely.
Track politics also play into it.
So how do you solve some of the on track stuff,eliminate the politics,HA HA,and the promotors and pit stewards need to step up to the plate and stop showing favoritism to certain drivers.
Also have more vintage coupe and sedan events as well.