Chairman Dale Hughes
"Most velodromes in the world were designed and built for the Olympic program.
Most velodromes are in difficulty because of that same Olympic program."
Obviously, track racing needs more promotion, PR & marketing which means more money. But those things are not the basic problem tracks face.
The problem is the PRODUCT.
A good product will be successful even with only "word of mouth" promotion.
If the World Cup in Sydney can only get 1,000+ spectators each day and the last World Cup in the US, at the Superdrome in Texas, literally drew no spectators then the PRODUCT is not right.
Let's get it straight. The World Cups and even the World Championships on the track are really only qualifing procedures for the National Federations to participate in the Olympics.
Again, the Olympic events are exciting only once every 4 years.
Take for example "Track & Field" events - everyone is interested in whether Michael Johnson can break the 100m running record during the Olympics. But hardly anyone is interested in his running races any other time.
Man vs the Clock is interesting every 4 years. Between Olympic Games it should not be the PRODUCT tracks promote. In fact, the Olympic Games should refocus its Product.
People prefer GAMES.
Remember, they're called the Olympic Games, not the Olympic TimeTrials.
And the greatest GAME played on two wheels is the MADISON. Which was just introduced into the Olympic program in Sydney. Finally.
But the euros apparently don't think the Madison is as pure as man vs clock. They don't think the fans can understand it. They are wrong, it is pure GO,GO,GO!. All Games have rules and very few of those rules do you totally understand watching just one game. But as the Fan gets more educated he becomes more fanatical and his "word of mouth" becomes powerful.
It probably doesn't help that the Game was invented in the US - at the world famous Madison Square Garden in 1899, heck they don't even call it the the Madison, they call it the American.
We must emphasis the GAME. We must create STARS of the GAME.
Suggestion to Mr. Hein Verbruggen, Schedule the Olympic Madison event to begin at 10pm at night and end at 11:30. and run it for 6 nights. Create the new Modified Olympic 6 Day Bike Race (use the NAS-TRACK format). Let the infield be open to all the Olympic athletes, (a great Olympic hangout place), even have NBC create a studio in the infield where they interview the days Olympic stars. WOW! Great TV. Maybe the only events of the Games seen "Live" in the US.
Most of the major cycling countries and their governing bodies focus on the following Olympic events - Kilo, Pursuit, Team Pursuit, Sprint, Team Sprint. These are thought as being the purest form of Olympic cycling since it is man vs the clock. Unfortunately the Olympic program mandates the world to create man vs clock machines. Exciting on Olympic day, boring ever other day between Olympics.
The adage in the retail business is Location, Location, Location. In the sports business its the Game, the Game, the Game!
The PRODUCT is also hindered by the facility. The man vs clock program favors big tracks.(333m & 250m) The successful spectator tracks are short tracks. (200m & 166m)
In Australia, they have five indoor Olympic spec'ed velodromes, beautiful with seating for 2 - 3,000. But if you go to cyclingnews.com and read their feature "bums in seats", you will understand that even in a country the has really prospered at the elite levels of cycling (their velodromes are credited with producing world class athletes) were not able to draw enough fans to pay the bills.
The overhead for a very large indoor velodrome building (as big as a football field) is too big to be successful. 82% of their ticket income went to facility overhead. That only leaves 18% for event & acitivities operations. Even their recent hosting of a UCI World Cup produced barely over 1,000 spectators daily. That's less than 1/2 capacity.
So to anyone who thinks a 250m indoor joint use facility is a successful model, they are mistaken. Cycling will be billed for its fair share and that is more than it can pay for. Who will pay the bills: in Canada, Australia and many other countries the government pays the bills. But even Canada lost the indoor velodrome from the 1976 Olympic Games (the building is now one large eco display) and Australia is not sure how to proceed. And the wonderful Manchester Velodrome in England has similar yearly financial struggles.
To anyone who thinks the World Cups or World Championships are the solution, they are wrong. Australia lost money and when the Superdrome in Texas, hosted a UCI World Cup their budget was $300,000. They generated $50,000. in sponsorship and next to nothing in ticket sales. They lost $250,000. and we lost another sponsor. Even the successful Trexlertown velodrome has lost money on every UCI World Championships event they have hosted.
Each country should have one indoor 250m velodrome and one outdoor 333m velodrome. All the other velodromes should be 200m outdoors and 166m indoors. The GAME is played best on these size velodromes. All costs and overhead would be reduced by up to 80%. Ticket prices can be lowered and most importantly, the excitement level has been increased 50%. We are also creating technically better athletes. They can specialize in those other Olympic events prior to the Olympic Games.
NAS-TRACK goal is to create 10 velodrome facilities that will be successful in developing riders and developing fans. Our prototype has low capital costs, low maintenance costs, low operational costs yet the same 2 - 3,000 seats. Our ticket prices are low, our fan interest is high. Our community involvement will give us our riders of the future and our fans of today. Each NAS-TRACK facility focuses on its 100 mile radius, developing teams, creating League events and hosting a League Championship. If the product is good the fans will come.
NAS-TRACK's 4 year plan includes a SuperLeagueTour of the 10 NAS-TRACK cities during the winter months using a portable velodrome designed by V96SG. We will combine our GAME with a celebrity studded infield of partying, food, music & TV.
NAS-TRACK's prototype velodrome in Michigan became the 2rd most popular fan velodrome in the US after only 90 days of operations. Michigan's goal is to be #1 in 2003. NAS-TRACK's first expansion will be to New York and San Francisco.
NAS-TRACK is taking a different road to Success! If you are interested in a NAS-TRACK franchise in your city contact us. You need 5 acres (local city park) and $250,000. to qualify for NAS-TRACK's co-funding program.
NAS-TRACK is re-introducing to America -
- an American Game played on a race track by teams in a League!
Click on www.NAS-TRACK.com and watch us grow!