World Cup winner Kelvin Tatum is urging Sheffield fans to back the club in big numbers this year.
Tatum, who was an integral part of England’s success at Bradford in 1989, was at Owlerton for a special event with supporters last week and said he’d be a regular if he lived closer.
Tigers are switching meetings from Thursday to Sunday afternoons to avoid a clash with Premiership meetings and to try and encourage more youngsters.
And some fans are concerned about the lack of first-bend viewing with building work underway for the new multi-million-pound banqueting suite.
But Tatum said: “Sheffield was always a great race track when I was riding and it’s still the same shape and size now.
“If I lived closer than Sussex I would be a regular visitor here, especially on a Sunday afternoon when I could bring the family for an afternoon.
“I can understand those fans who have stood on the first turn for years and years being disappointed, but the home straight and turns three and four will be good to watch from and there will be no stock car fencing I’m told.
“The team looks great here. The management has gone out of their way to put a side together who can compete for honours after a disappointing 2018.”
And Tatum says the winter closure of both Lakeside and Workington should be a wake-up call for any fans thinking of staying away because of the first turn going.
“Sheffield fans need to look at what they have on their doorstep,” said the BT Sport pundit.
“They have a great racetrack, a smashing team and once the new banqueting suite is completed they will have a fantastic stadium to see their team in.
“Workington and Lakeside have gone and the Bates boys and Peter Mole here at Sheffield underpin this club, but they need to see enthusiasm and fans getting behind them.
“They have invited me up for a meeting and if we are at Belle Vue for BT on a Monday I am going to try and come up to Sheffield the day before.”