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Can arenacross save motocross in the UK?

With the current economic climate and teams struggling to find funds to take the top riders racing, is the new Arenacross series, that’s kicking off this weekend in London, key in keeping the UK’s two motocross series alive?

Traditionally in Europe and especially the UK, outdoor motocross is the main thing in contrast the USA where they choose the show of supercross ahead of the substance of outdoor racing.

In the USA the motocross series essentially piggy backs off the supercross hype and money. The casual fans gravitate towards supercross which brings the sponsors and tv money, that in turn gives the teams a bigger budget for the outdoors and is the reason there are four top riders on the 250 teams in the outdoors – but how many riders in the USA race outdoors only- none, because doing outdoors alone just won’t pay them as well.

It has been tried many times in the UK but indoor racing has never really taken off on a permanent level apart from the odd good event or series here and there. By and large the fans and the riders still see indoor racing as some sort of short term unimportant filler until the real racing starts – outdoor motocross.

However, if motocross is to survive and grow maybe we need to embrace the arenacross series just as much during the winter as well.

If it can take off we can attract new sponsors ,more mainstream media coverage and new fans to the sport that can then be introduced to the brilliance of outdoor motocross.

I recently e-mailed MCN to see why they don’t have any motocross coverage in their paper,the editor said this was the first time anyone had e-mailed him to ask that question, he also stated that when they had tried it before the advertisers weren’t interested.

If motocross can’t even get a weekly section in “Motorcycle News” then things are not particularly healthy with the sport on the promotional side so maybe, if it is marketed in the correct way, Arenacross can be the bridge to cross that gap.

Arenacross should be the calling card for British motocross and with it taking place in main cities such as London, Liverpool, Belfast and Birmingham if it is done right and supported by the fans, industry, riders and motocross media first and foremost then, hopefully, that will build the foundation for making it bigger in the future and in turn help outdoor motocross.

Matt Bates and the team at Events 22 have put together an impressive riders list with the top UK riders and some top supercross riders from Europe as well as world class freestylers.

Hopefully the racing will generate some good TV coverage for the fans, riders and sponsors. If the riders can provide good racing, make good money doing it and come back next season -that will increase the prestige of the series.

Indoor racing needs to be seen as just as important on the racing calendar as the outdoors from within the sport first before it can grow.  The more fans that are there the more the sponsors will become involved and you will have a positive snowball effect.

If we can have a regular indoor series plus two outdoor series in the UK, that will hopefully improve the standard of young British riders and hopefully increase the profile of the sport in the UK.  That will also help in getting quality overseas riders and be the place to go for those not riding in the World Championship, as well as a platform for those trying to get into the World Championship.

It has been said many times before but maybe this will be the year indoor racing in the UK really takes off. Why? Because it needs to in order to sustain and improve the outdoor motocross series in the long term – so let’s get behind it!

Article by Jonathan McCready

MX Vice Editor || 25

One Comment

  1. niteshift

    Can it save mx in the UK? I don’t think so, to be honest a lot of damage has been done previously and most people see it as a bit of a joke. I hope Matt and the team can save it as they are best placed to promote the event. However a lot of people don’t get what Matt & the team are trying to achieve and are very sceptical about E22 as gasp shock horror they make money out of mx in the uk! By rights it should introduce a new level of fans and who cares if they are fair weather fans , more fans = more money = more sponsors and prime time tv again. We keep blaming the economy but for the last 10-15 yrs mx has disappeared off the radar lest we forget the halcyon days of live mx on bbc and Itv, yes that’s right live mx on terrestrial channels kids!It needs promoters such as E22 to do that and not some f the dinosaurs that are there promoting events. Good luck for the arena cross and I hope the riders earn some decent $$$ from it…..lord knows they deserve it. Lets hope others see the importance of it being a success as well rather than sneering.

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