|Just an idea|
I have recently thought about some simple ideas on how to possibly to increase track meet attendance in the college and pro ranks.
1.) Sell beer at track meets to spectators. Americans love beer. Can you imagine how empty football and basketball and hockey games etc. would be without them selling this wonderful beverage.
2.) Allow betting and gambling at track meets. Allow for people to place bets on runners and the outcome of potential records to fall.
3.) Track and field could really learn a thing or two from horse racing. Its a successful money making sport that is no more exciting than track and field.
Comments welcome, trolls welcome, any other ideas welcome.
In europe, they DO bet on track meets.
Advertise hot girls in skimpy outfits. And, I agree betting is a good thing for the sport's growth. Initially. However, I would predict that about 5 years down the road track and field would be come infested with illegal scams, drugging people, and overall cheating.
Wait, what? You say we already have those faults?
You're kidding? Horseracing has been on life-support for over 40 years.
make it like WWF we could have runners pushing each other over when in sight of the finish line. Before the race interview the competitors and get the mouthy ones to trash the opposition. The bad guy gets taken out and dunked in the steeplechase waterjump by a burly shotputter, female to add to his humiliation. So much scope ...
Most of the big meets in the U.S are at university tracks. Can't sell beer there. At indoor nationals they did sell beer, and i think at Icahn for the diamond league they may have also.
A better idea would be for bars nearby to host pre meet and post meet events for spectators. Some sort of shuttle service and drink specials.
Also athletes should be squaring off against each other instead of dodging one another. This would help create more excitement.
Yeah horse racing is a failing industry...
They sell beer at MSG meets (whatever you want to call them) and at the whatever Grand Prix in NYC...
A better way might be to not make ticket prices so f-ing expensive, and then make you pay to park. I understand it costs money to put on an event, but it can't be nearly as much as it takes to host an NBA game let's say (the overhead has got to be much much higher than a track meet).
It's hard for someone to pay $100-$150 for a pair of tickets (so you don't have to sit there alone like a tool), plus travel and parking. On a side note, having like 5 marquee events a year mean that it's likely you'll only get locals to come...and people who happen to schedule a vacation to that area...
it needs to be cool
it needs to provide entertainment
athletes can't be douche bags
currently, track is none of the above.
track needs some athletes with sizzle
track needs something to get it on the front page of sports illustrated - girl fight on the track, in bunhuggers would be a good start.
The track meets that have almost always drawn the most attendance have been those that bring out the nationalism in the crowds. The US vs. USSR or GDR in the 70's and 80's. With the anonymous nature of most T&F athletes (in terms of general public) you need to give them something to root for. Nothing easier to root for than "us vs. them". Otherwise, you have to promote world record attempts etc. which the general public doesn't really get turned on to.
So USAT&F (with strong marketing help from an external professionals) should promote at least one meet a year with USA vs. Europe for example. With the following guidelines
*Make the meet last 3 hours at most for television purposes.
(longest distance might have to be 3k)
* Should probably be "all finals" type of format unless you handle it like golf and have a "prelim" day the day before, kind of like a 2 day golf tournament.
* Call it the "Sterling Cup" or some such thing like Ryder Cup or Davis Cup whatever.
A lot of details to consider, but you get the idea. That would be something to watch that you don't have to be a T&F nut to appreciate.
This is the best idea so far. But, watch videos of the Liquari/Ryun Dream Mile in 71(?) in Philly- two popular guys squared off, huge crowd, knowledgable announcers (this is key), look at the crowd on the track at the end of the race.
It was popular once, could be again.
Runners have to race each other, not run a few races a year.