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OK - this discussion was started on one of the Ramada Express threads and really should be addressed separately as it is getting buried and I believe this to be important. What to do with spectators has been kicked around a few times but several comments made on the Ramada thread caused me concern...First I will get the basics out of the way - I am a seasoned spectator and for several reasons cannot run a rally car (my real dream). Yes I should volunteer to work a rally, no I have not done this yet and yes I believe that spectators should be allowed on the stages in preplanned and monitored spectator locations that are both interesting and safe. That said the following are comments from the earlier thread

1. "For the sport to continue we need to protect the stages from unplanned and unsupervised access to the stages by spectators. At the same time, we need to improve our exposure and visibility. We've taken one of many directions. That is to bring the rally out of the wilderness on to the Superstage for the public while controlling and limiting access to stages." - In my opinion limiting spectators to Superspecials is a bad idea, the whole idea of rally is the challenge of running in the woods and the opportunity should be there for it to be viewed there. Superspecials are OK but don't limit spectator involvement to them only - it takes away much of what we spectators come to see rally for.

2. "With the way our society works, I would expect to see more controlled spectator areas, or stages without spectator areas;" - I understand the concerns about safety and liability, my belief is that the effort must be made to provide safe yet interesting spectating for rally. To take the easy way out by banning spectators just plays into the hands of the type of people that want to tell everyone what they can do. Rally would be safer and the liability if it was run in a big open field without any trees or rocks to hit or ditches to hook and roll over in but is that an acceptable alternative?

3. "I'll take it one more step than Kristen: come on out and support the events or shut up & stay home. Only you have the choice?It really sounds like you have the enthusiasm, please focus it productively out on the stages." - the way I read this is either come and work our rallies so we can play in the woods or just go away! Imagine Speed World Challenge or the BTCC or other road events or even gasp! NASCAR telling their fans this. Remember most events are run on public roads through public lands - at least be nice to the public

I understand that many participants of this board are rallyists and spectators are not your number one priority but at least don't exclude us. The future rallists may well come from our ranks, we do provide a contribution to the local economy that benefits the rally and the local population and if you run into trouble getting access to the roads we can help by weighing in on your side.

Rant complete - flame suit on.
 

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C.m.f.S.
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I think that its pretty clear that rally needs spectators to succede. No spectators, no sponsors, no me rallying. Spectators are what bring money to the sport (however little it is currently.) Theres no point in advertizing if no one is going to see. And, however much some of you dont want to admit it, rally is just another form of advertising. Just like all other motorsports. If it wasnt, only the obscenely rich could afford to race and it would just be another elitist thing that us commoners werent welcome to.

Its just hard currently because of a few resons. Rallying in the US isnt as popular as many other motorsports, or rally in europe. Therefore not as many people race, work, and spectate each event. Yet we still have hundreds of miles of roads, just like a big fancy wrc event, to keep clear of the spectators that do show up, and generally just a few hundred workers to do this. I think I heard that at the WRC in Mexico there were something like 1500 marshals alone.
Now the reason we cant have 1500 marshals is because the money isnt there. Those marshals were trained for months before the rally. All that costs money, and spectators bring that money. Its a catch-22. We need spectators, yet arnt able to provide an appropriate venue for them.

I personally think a superspecial at each event with 2 cars on mirror tracks and bleachers packed with fans paying for entry is a great idea. It doesnt take away anything of the rest of the rally. And can only add to it from the revinues and interest generated. Maybe two people in the stands will say, "hey, next year, lets go out and watch them in the woods." That means next year they're out in the woods where the "real" rallying takes place, and two new people can sit in their seats for the superspecial next year and get hooked in the same way.

What needs to be done is to figure out a way to safely build up the spectator base. I dont know how, hopefully some one some where is working on that. I have hope. :)
 

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R3- into ! L3><
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No flame suite necessary, not from me at least G. Nope, I didn't mean to come over as "come play or go away". Was hoping to be more along the lines of encouraging participation...Sorry if it came across otherwise.

Spectators are a double-edged sword in rally: If they don't show, it is pretty damn hard to toss your sponsors' logo in front of them to get coverage (and money)...but, if they do show, they might sue (for the silliest reason). The best thing for rally IMO would be for the courts in the USA to acknowledge responsibility for one's actions. <gasp> Stop awarding crazy sums for personal ineptitude! Imagine such a society: No sueing for "warning, coffee is hot", or for tripping on a crack in the sidewalk... I really do hate that we're in a "not me", "its not my fault" era...don't know how to change it though.

Brent
 

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Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
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"Now the reason we cant have 1500 marshals is because the money isnt there. Those marshals were trained for months before the rally. All that costs money, and spectators bring that money. "
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Far as I know, marshals have been drafted on the spot - you don't need to know the rulebook backwards and forwards to watch a driveway and remind the resident they can't drive up the stage right now, or watch an ATV trail.
Real rally fans would love to help out, wouldn't they?
There are parts of the stage I'd love to see somebody at, the spectator pens are usually at such lame spots, it hurts to see them wasting their time there.

rz
 
G

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Randy-

you've been racing for a while in various venues.

What kind of ROI do you typically suggest your sponsors will get?

I know approximately what kind of ROI my father gets with his sponsorship ventures and am curious if the number is similar.


For those of us footing the bill for our own efforts, I'd just as soon pocket the money from the reduction in insurance costs. For me, that would be more fiscally advantageous than having people trying to watch me race.
 

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Heresy!

>For those of us footing the bill for our own efforts, I'd
>just as soon pocket the money from the reduction in
>insurance costs. For me, that would be more fiscally
>advantageous than having people trying to watch me race.

Off to the stocks with you! No, wait.. that's too mild a punishment for such foolish thoughts.

The rack, followed by burning on the stake. Nah... too quick.

I got it! Crucifixion followed by evisceration.
 

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RE: Rally is not a spectator sport.

The sport wont grow without spectators. I know alot of people here don't want spectators and would be happy with just lower entry fee's, but for those who want to run the whole championship in a quick car --- you need about 150k+ to run the championship. Sponsors need a good return in their investment. If the sport ever wants to make a profit you need people to show up to the events. People like rally because of the speed/jumps/flat out driving. Everywhere I take my rally car people ask about the races and want to know more" they think rally races are only overseas" I know I would pay a 10 bucks or so to be at a great spectating point aka jump / fast S corner ect. Super specials need to be fast with jumps/ watersplashes to get spectators excited. I spectated 1 event this year and was ticked that I could only spectate in one "boring" spot the whole event. Any event can abtain a sponsor, but keeping them is whats important.
 

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Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
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RE: Rally as a spectator sport.

"I know approximately what kind of ROI my father gets with his sponsorship ventures and am curious if the number is similar."
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I never spent the money to get a professional sample because it would be a waste of money. (How's that for circular reasoning?)
I would say, that the value of sponsorship to eyeballs at the track would be close to zero.
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Sponsorship value can be tailored many ways that actually work.
The principal sponsorship value at-track-crowds perform are as a backdrop to pictures and video.
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But what do I know?
If I were so knowlegable, I'd be at my villa in Nice right now.
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My experience is that it costs money to find a big sponsor and even if you find one, chances are you'll get screwed by them anyway and left with the bill. Rally is young enough to support personal relationships that will work fine for most of us and one-on-one is where it all starts anyway.

rz
 

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Trogdor
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>The best
>thing for rally IMO would be for the courts in the USA to
>acknowledge responsibility for one's actions. <gasp>

That would be the best thing for the *country*, not just for Rally.

Did you know that there is a drug sitting on a shelf somewhere, that prevents memory loss when drinking alcohol? Just think of it. You could be drinking at a cocktail party and chatting people up and generally schmoozing and you'd wake up the next day and you wouldn't have lost *any* of it. However, the drug is never going to see production, it hasn't even been given a name (it just has a catalog number)... why? Because someone would probably sue the company for some stupid reason.

>Stop
>awarding crazy sums for personal ineptitude! Imagine such a
>society: No sueing for "warning, coffee is hot",

That one has a story behind it. She originally asked for some sort of compensation - she just wanted help with her medical bills. She was brushed off, so then she got out the lawyers.

Juries, not judges or lawyers, define the monetary compensation. That's why you see stupid things like a jury awarding 200 billion dollars (yes with a B) to a family who was suing GM over improper fuel tank placement. Our founding fathers were right, juries should be a bit more selective than whoever they could find that couldn't weasel their way out of jury duty.
 
G

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coffee

>>Stop
>>awarding crazy sums for personal ineptitude! Imagine such a
>>society: No sueing for "warning, coffee is hot",
>
>That one has a story behind it. She originally asked for
>some sort of compensation - she just wanted help with her
>medical bills. She was brushed off, so then she got out the
>lawyers.


Indeed. Assuming this is the oft-mentioned McDonalds hot coffee in the lap case, it should be used as an example of why corporations should be responsible for *their* actions as well.

States with outdoor recreation industry, i.e. Colorado, have brought legislation forward that relieves ski resorts of liability for most events. Individual states could do this for motorsports, too.

It wouldn't prevent frivolous suits, but it would at least (hopefully) put some teeth in the concept of "at your own risk"
 

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I am sorry, but I did not even begin to read any of the posts here. The title is enough for me to give my 2 cents worth.

YES, RALLY NEEDS SPECTATORS!!!!!!!!!!! Rally IS spectators.

Maybe some people did not grow up going to rallies, but I am here to say that it is a lifestyle, whether you are racing or not. Some of my best memories are of spectating at rallies and the adventures that went along with them. Talk to those who have been involved in rally for any amount of time ? not just the ?old timers? ? and you will find that the early days of being ?involved? as a spectator lead them to their current involvement. Involvement in being competitors, marshals, organizers, fund-raisers, volunteers of all sorts, and business owners. I also want to add that this rally thing is contagious and that each of these people have brought AT LEAST one other into our fold. Crap?even my mom enjoys going to rallies!!?!

I cannot think of another sport where the spectator is as involved. In fact, there is a second Rally set up specifically for the spectator. First they download a Spectator Guide from the event website. Then they get to go to Parc Expose to check out all YOUR cool cars that are plastered with sponsor stickers - all the while checking their watches of course, because they have to follow an unfamiliar route as listed in the Spectator?s Guide in order to get to the first stage on time (sound familiar?). There they are blown away at how spectacular YOU are and take tons of pictures of your car and sponsor stickers which they cannot wait to post on their website and show off to all of their friends?all the while watching the time, because they have to get going if they are to make the next stage.

This scenario repeats itself several times for sometimes three days. At the end, these people can go to the podium finish and watch all those who actually made it and socialize with these new found heros ? not to mention their new friends that they just spent a couple of days with standing in the elements just to watch your dry ass drive by.

Without the involvement of these people pasting your car all over the internet, sponsorship would be next to impossible to get. Why would anyone want to put there name all over a car and spend thousands just so you could get your jollies driving through the woods with only Smokey the Bear, Bambi and Winnie the Pooh to witness you? That would be a huge waste of money. Who wants to support an event financially that they would get ZERO recognition from? I guess another option would be to keep spectators away, raise your entry fee, and hire a bunch of professional photographers to hike through the woods and take pictures for you.

With this being said, calling it Pro Rally is an absolute JOKE! No one but a handful of people actually earns money from Pro Rally. I move that we go back to simply calling them National and Regional events. I know it is just verbiage, but let?s call a spade a spade already. Until we can come together and quit our bitching and moaning, we have no right calling ourselves Professionals. (THIS IS NOT DIRECTED AT R/A , NASA, OR ANY OTHER ORGANIZER WHO IS PUTTING THERE OWN MONEY AND ARS ON THE LINE FOR THE GOOD OF THE WHOLE ? I APPRECIATE EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING FOR OUR SORRY ASSES)

did I say that out loud?:eek:

The bottom line is that Rally is nothing without spectators. You hear about those involved in Rally as the ?Rally Community?, and spectators are a huge part of that. In order to remain healthy, we need to make every effort to keep spectators involved with our community. Jeez, I doubt more than 30% of the people on Special Stage are even competitors ? that means that we just shut out our most passionate supporters out there.

Again, just my 2 cents worth?..
 

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Trogdor
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RE: Rally is not a spectator sport.

>SCCA's new CircusRally will be the perfect place for
>spectators.

Unfortunately, given the legal climate in the US, and the general spectator mentality, it's the only thing that makes sense.

Very sad. I feel once again that I have been born into the wrong generation - I'm 20-30 years too late.

I do see some upsides to the situation, though, looking in the direction of circle track. The roundy round guys' entrance fees aren't exorbitantly high, and the ticket office usually brings in enough money that most/all racers get their entrance fee paid back even if they don't place in the money.

This is good. Means more money can be spent on gear, and maintenance, instead of entrance. And the sport would be open to more people as well.

The lack of needing road permits etc. also means that you can hold events more often. I forsee road courses, maybe some of the larger dirt/asphalt ovals, building dirt courses in the infield or outer areas. I believe BeaveRun already has something similar in place.

Could you imagine having open lapping days on a dirt course? Just perfect for those of us who aren't interested in the competition so much as just getting out there and having fun...
 

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>Without the involvement of these people pasting your car all
>over the internet, sponsorship would be next to impossible
>to get.

Gee golly.. how did rally survive without the internet? Rally in the States did just fine for 25 years before it had any significant internet exposure.

For your reference here are a few internet domain registration start dates:

Microsoft.com 5/2/91

Jenisys.com 9/20/93 (this is mine, just for a point of reference)

SCCA.org 4/25/98

SpecialStage.com 1/30/99

RallyRacingNews.com 5/27/99

Rally-America.com 10/14/02


I won't even bother with the rest of your nonsense which is the same drivel that lead SCCA PRO RALLY down into the abyss.
 

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5 right opens
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It struck me odd when I read the title that perhaps... someone was silly enough to pose the question that spectators were NOT needed.

They are the biggest part of what we do and we need them desparately.

They are what drive sponsors.

They are what fill our volunteer pools.

They are what get excited and come to Rally Cross and Road Rally events.

They are what eventually become Rally Drivers.

The biggest tragedy in Rally today is the lack of spectators due to litigation and mismanangement. We would be light years ahead if it weren't for that.

A good friend of mine suggested a simple, drawn from WRC solution to Spectator litigation...

PAY TO VIEW

If you PAY for a ticket and carry around with you the acceptance and understanding of the dangers posed to you as a spectator, when you do something stupid and get hurt, we can then staple the disclaimer to your forhead as a reminder to everyone else to OBEY THE FREAKIN MARSHALS!!!

Now, this is the US and regarless of whatever step were taken to protect the spactators, this is a society of "you're not the boss of me" and then "we're suing because you didn't protect me". So in reality, there will probably even be lawsuits at Stadium Rally events.

It sucks but that's the montra... MAKE MONEY THE OLD FASHION WAY... SUE SOMEONE!

I think a simple spectator fee of around $5 - $10 for a full event pass is not unreasonable especially if that pass comes as a "collectible" souvineer and a bit of sponsor swag. The Sponsors are getting something out of it and the Club is getting much needed funds to halp create and manage spectator areas better. Best of all... the spectators, as pointed out on their ticket and in person, are literally signing away their right to sue by paying money to be there.

Win, win... Spectators in a better environment, better controls, less legal ability, better exposure, better sponsor exposure and support, etc, etc, etc...

Stadium Rally Spectators, seems to me, are folks that will come and watch but not fall into that volunteer pool and future stage driver catagory as much... something we should world on.

Anyway, that's my .02 cents worth... for what it's worth.

Best,

Scott
ORG Rally Cross Director
--------------------------
 

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>I think I heard that at
>the WRC in Mexico there were something like 1500 marshals
>alone.

Well maybe, but 1400 of them were school kids who were bussed to the stage and given shirts and whistles. I wasn't impressed by the marshaling in Mexico, they were easy to ignore. I was impressed by the state police, I didn't ignore the guys with guns.

Jim
 

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As Michele Mouton said "Rally is the only sport where the spectators are part of the game, and when I look back I have a positive image." Or something along those lines. Every motorsport needs spectators. And to say rally doesnt is almost sacreligious.
 

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Many of todays rallies do not actually need spectators.

Smaller C1 and C2 events at one time actually banned spectators.

The majority of costs for the majority of events are covered by entry fees.


So Rally, today, right now, does not need spectators.


If Rally wants to grow into a more poular sport or have the potential for sponsors to support events and individual drivers financially then rally wants sponsors.

No Rally does not NEED spectators.
Rally may WANT spectators.

Mike
 
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