Yes Greg H I'm not privvy to the resons why the sport did not take advantage of the opportunity to move to Homebush previously but IMO on face value it seems to have been a very short sighted choice, and for some reason unknown to me there is a total ability to ignore the potential of the Fairfield site. I'd agree the sport certaibly has it block eyes on and cant seem to be able to see anything other then Menangle. I too wonder about the marketing of the sport, I've spent just about every morning of the holiday period listening on the radio to the CEO's of various gallops venues located close to the coast talk about how they have the best attendances of the year at their meetings during this period. We too have a track on the coast located at Bulli, and fair enough it's not Kaikora but it is 1 kilometre (yes thats one "Flying K") from the beach at Bulli and 1 and a 1/2 kilometres from the camping grounds at the Beach. Not to mention all the other visitors that pack the other beachs in the region during the holiday period. Yet the Bulli track lies idle and as we are about to breach the lease with council by having no meetings there this year likely to be lost to the industry. Very curious indeed I think, especially as only 3 years ago the independant report into harness racing in Sydney found the Bulli club to be in a sound finacial position. Of course if the people running any club have interests elsewhere and no interest in the club then of course it's demise is assured.
Greg S I'm happy that your experiences of country racing are positive but I'm sure you'd agree that it all boils down to money. If we have the income streams to continue to provide the prizemoney you refer to then you will continue to view things positively but if we don't, as I have alluded to previously and the prizemoney drops then no doubt your views will change. I hope your right about Pub punters willingness to buy a pacer and perhaps more country clubs could form syndicates and the like to do exactly that as we need to increase interest in our sport from all directions. Without meaning to be critical of the hard working committes running country clubs a little time on google shows that there is room to improve the marketing of country (and probably all venues) racing in this digital age. A quick perusal of Wikipedia for example for regional centres such as Bathurst, Young, Parkes, Wagga and Tamworth makes little if any reference to harness racing occurring in these centres. Yet in Bathurst at least it is a weekly occurance with a major carnival once a year.
Greg I welcome anyone to harness racing but the reason for targeting the Chinese is that they have been identified as going to be the most prolific visitors to our shores and their propensity for spending once they are here blows every other group out of the water. Of course dealing with people from a different culture that don't for the most part speak the same language presents challenges for us that we haven't faced before. But the changing world and especially betting trends (my survey of my colleagues at work betting habbits show that 33% of then are regular small punters but alas all on sports betting and multis, only one bets on the gallops very occassionally and none on harness racing but two would if I had a runner I thought was a chance.) means that we need to adapt what we do if we are going to survive, much less prosper.
Time to take the block eyes of and look to expand our opportunies, it may be linking with other tourist attractions or sports to increase our audience. Those that bought tickets to the Mariners game (soccer) also got admission to Gosford races type things. Perhaps for the long term its time to look at forming an alliance (no not merger like the GHRRA, more like code sharing that the airlines do) with the greyhounds to develop better utilised joint venues. Afterall at present we have the spare cash and a fair chunk of the greyhounds cashflow, if we wait too long then the greyhounds are likely to have all the cash flow and we will no longer have a cash reserve.
Happy New Year to All
Last edited by dizzy; 12-31-2012 at 06:43 PM.