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I for one will not race Fonda once a month.... We would find another Saturday night BB home..... And that's where we would stay.....
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Why do we try to recreate the wheel?  Why do we need to get rid of the big-blocks? Because everybody thinks they deserve to race with the big boys. Awe they outspend me, I can't compete with the engine I have. etc etc etc... In this world of everyone deserve to be in the big leagues because my Daddy told me so is crap. Go out and get the sponsorship needed to be successful. Then follow thru on your commitments to your sponsors. You want to be a racer? Then get up in the morning and put your big boy shorts on and say I am a racer and this is what I do.  But instead we should slow our sport down because some guys can't keep up. 

 

More racing is done in the shop thru out the week than on the track but we want to put a slower product on the track and expect more people to  participate. Maybe the NHRA should do away with the top class fuel cars to just run srt 4  neons cause hey that's what people can afford.  Or maybe the NBA should lower the rim 3 feet so everyone can have a chance to make the NBA.  My point is not everyone should have a big-block nor deserves one. Please leave the sport alone.

 

The guys with the best stuff who win every week or are the elite in any sport are there because they have the WILL to win, that uncontrollable urge to not finish second and the desire to go to any lengths to win.  Before you slow the sport down and cheapen it ask yourself if YOU have that fire in your belly. If the answer is yes, then question why you don't have your big boy shorts on to prove it. 

 

opposing opinion over...

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I always said if you really love this sport and want to help it then do it. Quit writing online about how you would do this or do that. Have any of you ever went to your favorite track and donated say a few hundred bucks to the promoter and say here's a few bucks to help out buying bikes for the kids bike give away or went over to a low buck team that you root for to do good and bought him or her a tire or food. So every one says there a true race fan so you spend 12 bucks a week maybe buy food or beer so 20 bucks. 32 bucks a week woohoo some drivers spend that in there generator that week. Quit bit*ching about the sport and get off your ass and do something about it. Donate your free time to your track get a bunch of buddy's to sponsor a race. Get your employees or employer to help promote your track. Its not hard just a little time and effort I hate reading on the inter web that this guy should do this or this one didn't do that. Ask yourself what have you done to help this sport beside paying 12 bucks a week which equals to a pack of smokes today.
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You want more excitement and 45 crates with top names fighting every week to get in a 24-28 car field,that sounds like it would create excitement weather stewey was winning or some young 18 year old i believe you would draw huge car counts and excitement but what most of you say on here is true....The most important part PROMOTE PROMOTE and then PROMOTE some more. I just think not spending a fortune for weekend racing would help racing in the long run. Again just getting conversation going on here, new ideas come from people on here and keeping this thread going. Just saying!!!!

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What hurt Fonda was rain for a big show and the fact that everyone knew stew would win every week so why go. What they need is a couple of drivers that fans think can actually push fresien and beat him there. You don't need to reinvent the wheel. Delorenzo already did the hard work improving the place
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Really mod guys running crates !!!!  Lets get real!!! I would not want to see that !!! Matt started something good, Now lets all get behind the new  people with a lot of support and finish what matt and his people started !!! They made great strides !! ( its to bad they could not  finish ) !! You cant expect everything to run like a clock. Life throws screwballs everynow and then, people have to adjust.  The new people can not give everything away, go to a football,baseball  game  or even a concert its not cheap. You can go to races with a family spend a few bucks and see great shows all summer, for what it would  cost to do a couple of the other  things. I have many friends that thought racing was a joke, but I have changed a few minds by just getting them to come to the track one time. Some are hook and others are not, some go only a few times. But its more than we had.

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I always said if you really love this sport and want to help it then do it. Quit writing online about how you would do this or do that. Have any of you ever went to your favorite track and donated say a few hundred bucks to the promoter and say here's a few bucks to help out buying bikes for the kids bike give away or went over to a low buck team that you root for to do good and bought him or her a tire or food. So every one says there a true race fan so you spend 12 bucks a week maybe buy food or beer so 20 bucks. 32 bucks a week woohoo some drivers spend that in there generator that week. Quit bit*ching about the sport and get off your ass and do something about it. Donate your free time to your track get a bunch of buddy's to sponsor a race. Get your employees or employer to help promote your track. Its not hard just a little time and effort I hate reading on the inter web that this guy should do this or this one didn't do that. Ask yourself what have you done to help this sport beside paying 12 bucks a week which equals to a pack of smokes today.

Very good points. That is one of the reason's why I help Lisa sell 50/50 tickets at the Valley every week. It helps the $100K points fund and by managing to keep each week's 50/50 drawing so high helps build excitement which helps keeping fans in the stands every week who watch the teams vying for the $100k points fund.

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How do you know those who posted do not step up and donate??? There are plenty of people who post on this site that do donate their time, money, ect to race teams and tracks.
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If I had some real money to burn, and wanted to lose several years off my life, I'd take over Fonda and would consider doing the following:

 

- I like the idea of crates being your top division. Cut the mod purse in half, and there is your top weekly purse. Not sure I'd do this year 1, but I'd phase it in.

- When crates are the top division, since I cut the purse in half, I also cut the admission to $6 to get in. Family of 4 gets in for $12.

- On a monthly basis, same weekend every month (be it 1st, or last) I have the mods. I pay them the old weekly purse and I rotate 1 division off that week. I charge $10-12 to get in.

- I schedule 1-2 ESS sprint races per year.

- I have one week per year free admission. I also give $1 food coupons out at the gate

- I have a championship weekend, and that weekend I schedule a SDS race.

 

I'd probably fail, but I don't think I'd lose as much money as the previous regime.

 

I have no more than 4 divisions, and I have a goal that all races are done by 10:30 every Saturday.

It is great that everyone has ideas. Some might work, some might not. The promoters should check these pages and see what people are talking about, it is always good to have that link with your customers.

 

With that being said. If you cut the purse, no matter what the division it is a poor way to attract good racing. A lot of racers already lose money on this, so they choose to run at places for specific reason, such as it is close, they have a history there, like the way it is run, the purse etc etc.... The more it financially hurts a team to race some where the less likely they are to run there.

 

Cutting admission, or making a family deal is fine, as long as its paying the bills. Giving a free admission week, is a good way to get really hurt one week. If you going to let a bunch of people through the gate for free, you better have something for them to buy that your making good money on when they are in. If your food is affordable, then your not making it back there. You can sell some souvenirs maybe, but chances are your losing money this night. You still have to pay purse money.

 

The idea of monthly mods will likely not work. You can't do it on a Friday night/ weekend day, they will already be racing somewhere else. During the week will be tough with all the special shows. There will be guys who don't go to series/special shows, but a lot of the big names will. Can you get the drivers in the pits to put people in the stands

 

ESS is a fun show, might increase numbers a little. Not going to be a big money maker.

 

Championship weekend, or a big special weekend is a good idea. You have to get the sponsorship backing tho. Those weekends are expensive. You need some good money coming in from outside sources.

 

People have a lot of weekly racing they can choose from. You have your die hard fans, racers, their teams that come every week. People have a lot of options, your not getting most people to come every week. You have to do certain things to keep that count up as best you can. You might have to pay some appearance money to a couple good drivers. People like rivalries, they will pay to watch their guy race, or the one they hate lose. People like to see different things, such as special shows. The valley makes a lot of it's money from things like eve of destruction, monster jam, Mr. Dirt, World of outlaws. You want to take advantage of the property you have for other things. Those things probably come down to what the deal you have with the fair board allows you to do. Selling weekly or seasonal camping. Using the facilities any way you can to make more than just that one night of racing. Use the track for other types of racing, sno cross, atv, car shows, thrill shows, whoever/whatever will pay you for its use.

 

It all starts with a weekly show, that is timely, fun, entertaining, with a good value. To make money you have to expand to other areas besides all that

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I'd say the Fonda fans/race teams do a pretty good job.....

Hondo Memorial, Lou Lazzaro Memorial, Jack Johnson Tribute, among others.....

Could we all do more.....probably but I don't know another track that has fans/race teams supporting events like I mentioned above.
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The reality is that Delorenzo was doing a GREAT job and still couldn't attract anywhere near enough fans to cover his operating expenses.  Modifieds are GREAT, and Fonda has no problem with car counts, but how do you keep running them when there's not nearly enough money coming through the front gate to support the current purse.  It would be nice if the property owners would be willing to accept a lease at 50% (or less) of what Delorenzo was paying.  If not, option two is to headline an almost identical class that is a lot cheaper to run, look the same and is almost as fast (to the casual fan).  I could be wrong, but aren't Budget Sportsman running just as fast now as the modifieds were running in the '70s and '80s when the place was packed every Saturday night?? 

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Maybe the Fair Board will accept an offer lower than what Matt was paying?

I'm not sure how you can fault the Fair Board for agreeing to a contract that someone was willing to pay.
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Does any one have the numbers of the front and pit gate????  What was the difference in number from years past????? lets not say numbers are down ,Whats the REAL number??

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Was the money coming through not enough to support the racing or was it not enough to make the investors happy?

There are a lot of unanswered questions.....
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Was the money coming through not enough to support the racing or was it not enough to make the investors happy?


That is the million dollar question that nobody else has asked.

Similiar to when Jake & Mike left the ridge. There's a difference between losing money and not profiting enough to be happy.
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I may be naive, but the fixed costs of running the speedway week in & week out(not counting the purse) really wouldn't change much regardless of the fact you had modifieds or crates as your headliners, or am I wrong?

 

Your rent, lights & insurance, track equipment, staff & maintenance would basically be the same.

 

As far as the number of asses in the seats for the last 10 years vs 30 years ago my guess is about 25%, but there are 3 times as many in the pits as there were 30 years ago paying 3 times the grandstand price!

 

Without the modifieds you would lose 30 cars & a minimum of 150 people working on those cars, paying approx $4500.00 worth of income to get in there, not spending any money at the concession stands or buying tires, fuel & parts like they did from Matty.

 

ROI, return on investment, obviously they felt it just wasn't there, Like Jake at The Ridge... it's just business! Nobody wants to work that hard & not see the fruits of their labor.

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Seems like other than the improvements, didn't Lucia pay the same purse or close to it and didn't he have the same asses in the seats or close to it? Seems like Matt had a lot more pro stocks every time I went this year compared to Ric. My guess is that between the large amt spent on improvements it didn't have a good ROI. If u take the mods out less people will come in the front and the back gate.

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well said redd, who want to bust your ass all week and all the other strees that comes with it only to lose  money. its 1 thing if are pocketing 15000  every sat nite.not sure if he was even pocketing half of that. i feel bad for pete d i bet there was prolly 3 or 4 fri nites he made money..he dont have the big companies behind him.. insurance and lease got kill ya every week..not counting giving dirt there sanctioning fee.i can only imagine what that is...jake u out there any ideas??

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The reality is that Delorenzo was doing a GREAT job and still couldn't attract anywhere near enough fans to cover his operating expenses.  Modifieds are GREAT, and Fonda has no problem with car counts, but how do you keep running them when there's not nearly enough money coming through the front gate to support the current purse.  It would be nice if the property owners would be willing to accept a lease at 50% (or less) of what Delorenzo was paying.  If not, option two is to headline an almost identical class that is a lot cheaper to run, look the same and is almost as fast (to the casual fan).  I could be wrong, but aren't Budget Sportsman running just as fast now as the modifieds were running in the '70s and '80s when the place was packed every Saturday night?? 

    I was told Ronnie Johnson has only been over 3 times in his entire racing career. 2 of those were in the last 2 years at Fonda ( track conditions)...  Matt my have painted the place and cleaned up the bathrooms but beyond that he refused to listen to what the fans and drivers wanted and missed the boat on just about everything, . ..JMO  

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Well, Haven't been on here in months, Thank God , after reading this topic. The fair board isn't  the problem here, I'm sure they would work with any one. Hope the next promoter is someone we all have faith in, Not to many in this area. It would break my heart to see it close, Glad I had the chance to see 50+ years of history. There isn't many with this much history around any more. 

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The ideal marriage between a promoter and a fair board would see both entities working toward a common goal:  To draw (make) money.

 

However, the level of effort in many promoter/fair board relationships is titled heavily in favor of the fair board, who does the least amount of work and takes in the most 'net' profit (i.e. playing landlord and simply taking a check without actively participating in the running of the facility).  That's not a specific dig at the Fonda fair board, rather, a general observation based on 25+ years of experience in the business.  Of course, there are exceptions to that scenario.....

 

In order for a lease situation to work, either the landlord needs to work with the tenant to draw money, or the tenant needs a deal that makes it economically viable and feasible for them to draw money.

 

We could infer that those conditions weren't favorable in this case, but that would be an assumption, and I don't think there's anything on the law books anywhere that says that those terms HAVE to be made public...so we can only guess.

 

Each side in this equation wants to make money and be successful...the question is, how much effort will each side put in, and what can they REALISTICALLY expect for a return, and over what time period?

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And that's part of the problem.....everyone is assuming. No facts...just assumptions.

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Maybe the Fair Board will accept an offer lower than what Matt was paying?

I'm not sure how you can fault the Fair Board for agreeing to a contract that someone was willing to pay.

There's more to it than meets the eye. No one knows what goes on behind closed doors.

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Ya know what?...Who cares!....as long as Lucia doesn't return, I will attend when i can regardless if they run crates or mods. If Lucia were to return I wouldn't go if they were running the top 20 in the northeast. HE is the main reason for the downfall of the speedway....period!

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