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To all unhappy Spectators.

1. Let me say that the organizing committee worked very hard to put together high quality spectator areas.

2. Three days before the event the Forest Service demanded that we not allow anybody in the wooded areas. Peolpe would only be allowed on the road beds at the spectator points. I am sorry for this restriction and will work hard to expand the viewing for 2003.

3. The FIA, SCCA, Rally Promotions, the Chattanooga Region of the SCCA, the Organising Committee and the USDA Forest Service will not allow spectators to roam free though the forest during the event.

4. The $20 spectator fee was our idea and I make no apoligies for the charge. This is the only professional sport in the country that does not charge a spectating fee. We will continue to charge for spectating at this event.

5. We will work to improve the spectators viewing, give better value and the number of locations available to spectators.

6. We have some new and very exciting plans for spectating at the 2003 event that have never been seen in this country.

I am sorry that people where not happy with there experience in the forest but we as organizers have to maintain the control and saftey of the spectators first and foremost!

John K. Shirley
 

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I think one of the most important positive things that came out of the spectator segment of CT is "If you charge them, they will still come." If I might be so bold as to paraphrase a great line.

There are several other events, perhaps even just stages, that are known to have issues, that probably could be resolved if there was some money to implement some extra safty precautions.

With all due respect to the LSPR staff, I think they'd agree that if admission was charged to climb up Brockway mountain, it would be possible to purchase or rent fencing and such to help keep the spectators at a much safer distance from the edge of the road.

I for one think that most people would be willing to pay even a very modest $5 to go up the mountain, particularly if the stage was scheduled to run twice.

jb

Just remember, innovators always take a lot of flack... Just look at Smokey Yunnick!!! :)
 
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Thank you, John, for directly and openly addressing a thorny issue. I look forward to next year's event, albeit with more time in the car and less time spectating!

---------------------------------------
John Dillon John @ WidgetRacing.com
www.WidgetRacing.com
 

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RE: Spectating at Brockway Mountain

>With all due respect to the LSPR staff, I think they'd agree
>that if admission was charged to climb up Brockway mountain,
>it would be possible to purchase or rent fencing and such to
>help keep the spectators at a much safer distance from the
>edge of the road.

Scott Carlborn is not a frequenter of this forum, but I know he is working with the Copper Harbor community to assist in maintaining safety on that stage.

The number of spectators that showed up at Brockway in 2001 was exponentially larger than the LSPR committee anticipated.
 

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>>4. The $20 spectator fee was our idea and I make no
>apoligies for the charge. This is the only professional
>sport in the country that does not charge a spectating fee.
>We will continue to charge for spectating at this event.
>

My friend, who had never seen a rally before, traveled a long way to the event, and didn't mind the $20 bucks he spent at the Whitewater Center for a ticket. What he did mind was that he got absolutely nothing for the $20 he spent. He got no schedule, directions, tips, safety rules, etc. He got absolutely nothing. When he asked how to get to the stages, the ticket seller gave him a blank look. Of course his negative experience was exacerbated by the fact that when he did make it out to the stages, he didn't get to see ANY rally cars in action. He saw absolutely nothing except endangered dead leaves (which I recognize was not the organizers fault). It does seem that the organizers could have provided a spectator packet, or directions to the stages, at the very least. Even the free rallies do that.

Respectfully,

Jeff Field
 

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>3. The FIA, SCCA, Rally Promotions, the Chattanooga Region
>of the SCCA, the Organising Committee and the USDA Forest
>Service will not allow spectators to roam free though the
>forest during the event.

This is part of spectating a rally. I can understand keeping people back safe distances & out of dangerous areas, but everyone has different views on what a GOOD spectator area is & what they want to see.

>4. The $20 spectator fee was our idea and I make no
>apoligies for the charge.

I have no problem paying to spectate as long as I get to see what I want to see & drove down from CT to see. I will ad that $20 is pretty much the upper limit for what I would pay & that I think $5-10 would be much more reasonable considering that I am basically just getting permission to go & watch. I still have to hike out into the woods & you do not provide any seating, snack vendors, souvenir stands or any of the other conveniences found at most professional sporting events.

>This is the only professional
>sport in the country that does not charge a spectating fee.
>We will continue to charge for spectating at this event.

I still wouldn't call this a professional sport. Even with it's recent growth & the many people that would like it to be, the SCCA still sanctions an overwhelmingly amateur sport. Putting the letters "PRO" in the title does not make it a professional series.

>5. We will work to improve the spectators viewing, give
>better value and the number of locations available to
>spectators.

I'm glad to hear that.

My biggest complaint is that as a service crew, it was impossible to see any action. We tried. I went down there not happy about the whole having to stay in the designated spectator areas thing, but willing to give it a try. By the time that you managed to park the car & hike in past all the other cars, our team's car was already coming down the road. This meant that we had to turn around & head back for the next service.

In the past when I have serviced at rallies, it is easy to figure out where the end of the stage is & hike in a half mile or so. Then, you just have to watch for one of the cars 5-7 cars ahead of your team & when you see them head out. The fact that everyone is not concentrated in 2 or 3 places means there are fewer cars to hike past, parking is easier/quicker & the damage to the environment is smaller as the number of people walking over the same plant is smaller.

We tried doing it correctly by going to the designated spectator areas & it didn't work. Overall, I did enjoy the rally & I did enjoy being in TN, but the spectating was down right unpleasant.

===========================
Philip P. Mueller III
Westbrook, CT - USA
http://www.p3racing.net
 
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