Sheffield speedway crowds – there’s room for improvement

Sheffield Tigers’ bosses have described the response to Sunday afternoon racing at Owlerton as: ‘satisfactory’.

Tuesday, 7th May 2019, 7:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 8th May 2019, 1:52 pm
Glasgow No 1 Craig Cook - at Owlerton this Sunday. Picture Taylor Lanning

The club have won plaudits for their promotional work across the city to spread the word about the switch from the long-established Thursday night action.

But co-promoter Damien Bates admits they are always looking at more ways to increase crowd figures.

“Obviously it’s been a massive change for the club and we have received a little bit of negative feedback, but generally speaking it’s been good,” said Bates. “We are satisfied with attendances so far this season but as a promoter you are always looking for more.

“If we have lost some because they can’t come on a Sunday, then they have been replaced by those people who bring the youngsters now. It’s good for us to have a 4pm start and parents can still get their kids home with school in mind the next day.

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“As a sport, we need to attract a younger generation and I mean that with the greatest of respect to the established fans, because their loyal support is appreciated.”

Tigers are back in action this weekend with Knockout Cup ties against Glasgow. They head to Scotland on Friday with the return at Owlerton on Sunday.

Bates said: “Glasgow will be a big test for us and I reckon it could be a cracking cup tie. Obviously Craig Cook is the stand out rider for them having raced in the Grand Prix last season; he’s arguably the best rider in the league. It’s going to be good to see our top lads going up against him.

“We need to go to their place and keep things really close on Friday to set Sunday up back at Owlerton and that’s what we are planning.

“Simon Stead (manager) is working well with them and hopefully we can get the result we need and progress through to the next round. We would love to win the cup and we’re looking forward to a bumper crowd here on Sunday.”

Broc Nicol, meanwhile, is expected to be fit to take his place in the USA side for their Speedway of Nations World Pairs meeting in Manchester on Saturday.