Friday, June 29, 2007

outdoor motocross part 2

I have been a motocross fan for as long as I can remember. Now in my 30’s I see the core of the sport disappearing. Outdoor motocross is soon to be at a critical crossroad. Supercross is poised to take over the sport I love. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy supercross and the skill associated with racing it at a competitive level. But outdoor motocross is where it will always be for me. “The Great Outdoors” is motocross.
The eventual demise of professional outdoor motocross will be attributed to several different factors. The lack of big name rider participation which will then mean less sponsor dollars and in turn less factory support will all be responsible for this change. All of these factors combined will change the face of the sport forever. Supercross will become the high dollar mega sponsored series and the outdoors will be left to the hardcore fans. You can already see the shift just in the fan base that attends the events. Supercross draws Dad and little junior but more importantly Mom and sis and maybe even grandma as well. Supercross is fan friendly. A comfortable chair, clean bathrooms, easy parking, cool temperatures etc. It is great for the casual fan. But motocross is out in some remote field in the middle of nowhere with parking sometimes miles away, less than spectacular porta-johns in the middle of the summer heat. How does outdoor motocross draw more casual fans (and the increased sponsor dollars) yet still keep it core enough for the true fan?
Let’s explore a couple of possibilities.
--#1 Move the tracks
--#2 Make the tracks more spectator friendly with increased amenities
--#3 Run the national in the fall. Take the heat of the summer off.

--What if you were to make the tracks more enjoyable and better for the racers. Would more of them look into racing the national series?

--What if you combined the Nationals and Supercrosses to create a Grand National Champion like back in the 80’s. That might make the factories take notice and force the riders to compete.

--What if the weekend was created into a fair type of atmosphere that encouraged people to come out and spend the weekend. Increased tourism dollars for the local economy would lead to a better infrastructure. A fair or carnival style event could draw non-hardcore fans to the event. You could certainly fill the time with different races.
Perhaps on Sunday there would now be a run what you brung any displacement Grand National Championship class and Saturdays racing could have the women’s national class and a truer feeder class for riders without factory backing. (we’ll get to that later).
Thanks for taking the time to read this rant. If you are interested in discussing these ideas or have some of your own please let me know, I’m interested in hearing from you. The more that people discuss alternatives to the current system the better off we are at keeping outdoor motocross alive.

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