Adore Speedway, also known as the Birmingham Adore, is a motorcycle race track in Birmingham, England. The track is part of the larger Adore Festival which also includes a comedy festival and a food festival. It held its first race in 1983 and since then, it has continued to hold various motorcycling events including the annual TT Superbike races.
However, since the turn of the century, the attendance at the event has dropped off significantly. In 2016, just a few thousand people attended the events compared to the tens of thousands who used to regularly attend. If the trend continues, then the future of Adore Speedway is looking rather bleak. In fact, it’s already been referred to as a “retrospective” by some people.
Why Has Attendance Dropped?
The decline in attendance at Adore Speedway is likely down to a variety of factors. The first is the declining popularity of motorcycling in general. In 2016, the number of people identifying themselves as “motorcyclists” in the UK fell to its lowest level in 25 years. Only 2.9% of the population of the UK said that they were motorcycle enthusiasts, according to the annual Opinions and Trends survey carried out by market researchers, Ipsos MORI. This was compared to an all-time high of 8.4% in 1995.
This is likely because of a combination of factors including bad weather, low sales, and safety concerns. There was also a huge rise in the number of people identifying themselves as “environmentalists” in 2016 (up 25% from 2015). Perhaps people are putting their carbon footprints more thoughtfully these days. Whatever the reason, the decline in motorcycling is certainly a factor.
Is It Just The Biggest Names That Are Missing?
Another reason for the decline in spectator numbers is that some of the biggest names in motorcycling have either retired or haven’t raced there for a long time. This is probably because the event usually takes place in the winter, which is a grim time for motorcyclists. The big names that haven’t raced at Adore Speedway in a while include Henry Surtees, who died in 2015, and Dainese Motorcycles. The Dainese brand was started by Henry Surtees and they have continued to make bikes in his memory. Dainese didn’t renew their contract with the track and sent their bikes to other tracks instead. It’s the same story with Henry Surtees’ son, Michael, who also passed away in 2015.
Other big names that haven’t appeared at Adore Speedway in some time include Kevin Guy, Eddie Cheever, and Richard Harris. These are just a few of the biggest names that aren’t associated with the track anymore. The lack of racing stars probably doesn’t help as much as the declining popularity of motorcycling in general.
Why Are The Speakers Important?
Speaking of which, another factor that could be hurting Adore Speedway is the decline in the use of headsets. The reason for this is that, in the last few years, people have become more aware of their surroundings and are less likely to want to distract themselves from what’s going on around them. This could also explain why there are fewer people attending Adore Speedway as spectators. Those that are there probably don’t want to miss a word of what’s being said by the speakers either.
Since the start of this year, there have been a number of incidents at Adore Speedway where people have been injured or killed while taking part in the races. This has undoubtedly put a question mark on the safety of the event and it’s something that the council is looking into. A number of safety improvements have been made since then including the installation of a chicane, which will make the track even more difficult. However, with limited funds, the council can’t fix everything that needs to be done. This is why they are looking for volunteers to help out. If you’re interested in helping out or just want to know more, then please contact Carl Moreland, the head of the parks department at the council, on 0207-2202131 or email [email protected]
How Does The Composition Of The Audience Impact The Event?
One of the main reasons for the decline in attendance at Adore Speedway over the years is the change in the makeup of the audience. In the early days, it was made up mainly of elderly people. However, in more recent times, it has become a place for all ages to come together. This is probably because people want to support the local businesses that they know and like. It also means that there’s more of a chance that they’ll be able to remember the event as it used to be. Unfortunately, this could also mean that the event could become less entertaining as there will be more people around.
To give the event the best shot at success, the organizers need to make some changes. Unfortunately, the only way forward for Adore Speedway is to either attract more racing stars or bring back the old crowd. The choice is entirely up to them.
It’s a shame that such a unique piece of culture is struggling. Hopefully, with some organization and a lot of hard work, they’ll be able to pull through and find a way to maintain their special place in the hearts of people who love motorcycling.