Since hearing the announcement and now understanding what he is doing I can't help but think about the cost and logistics of putting on a series like this. It's has to be über huge! I think I have read all the info and this is a major undertaking that I find very interesting. I have come up with the first things that crossed my mind and maybe some of you can add to it. And maybe fill in some of the blanks too. I know at this point there is going to be a lot of total speculation, but hey it is something to talk about after the Baja 500 is over with tomorrow.
I got to tell you in my mind to put this together Robby Gordon is a mega rock star!
Building 30 race trucks. Building the spare parts needed for those 30 race trucks. Maintaining those 30 race trucks will take a good size crew. He said each truck will have a SST person working with the crew of two the entrants furnish. Is that one SST person per truck or will each SST person babysit 3 or 4 trucks each? Either way it is a crew that works and travels full time with SST. Transporting the 30 trucks and spare parts could take a small convoy of rigs. Plus hauling in whatever is needed to build the course and make the event happen. Renting the places to stage the events and then building the courses. Doing whatever is needed to promote the event. Buying TV time. Having a crew of people to stage the event smoothly. Guaranteeing a purse of $60,000 per event and $500,000 to the series champ! I keep thinking of more and more.
I know he has backers and sponsors, but still this is so much more of an undertaking than the MTEG series ever was.
I bet the Dakar experience has shown Robby how to pretty easily prep a truck to race every weekend. I'm sure there will be a lot of spare parts on hand and other parts being shipped back and forth to the factory for repair. It looks like some of the dates are back to back so not a ton of prep time but a lot more than Dakar with a lot less race miles on the trucks.
Since he is basing it in tents I assume he will be renting them in the local area and they will be set up before he even gets there. They can easily ship the trucks on any auto transport trailers. I bet he uses the big Freightliners as the mobile garages. Instantly has a mobile show without having to have a huge fleet of transporters.
The biggest thing is going to be the bodies. It's going to take a lot of fiberglass to keep 30 stadium trucks skinned. Not to mention all the graphics. That's gonna be the real pita.
Not that anybody cares about my opinion or thoughts but with Robby starting this incredible costly venture I cant help but wonder where he is getting the money for this. He cant afford to run an entire nascar season which "pays" him money even for last place for running, to "paying" someone to win in a new series. I thought he liked racing in Nascar and its where the money is made, so if thats the case whats the deal.
Great Post and Observation.
It's all quite impressive. Logistics are HUGE. As a point of reference, the U.S. Army has 5-7 people in support functions for every single man on the ground. For 30 trucks/drivers there will be many more behind the scenes working to make this happen.
I'll avoid speculation on the "Where does RG get the Money" as it feels inappropriate.
However, on the cost of running - There are 30 trucks he will maintain....but, each of those 30 will have at least 3 sponsors on them (Primary, Associate and Tire).( Info from press package.) It follows that some money is flowing in from the trucks....not just a cost.
There will also be an entry fee, surely some revenue from tickets and merchandise.
I'm not an expert on these events, but - I think the norm is for the Stadium to take a slice of ticket revenue and retain all concession revenue.
I commented in a seperate thread about the business side of this....and, the more I think through it....the more genius it seems. These stadiums are likely to be sitting idle on the weekends RG is planning events. Which means, he ought to be able to negotiate pretty good terms (from a stadium owner perspective, it's "gravy").
By having an "open sponsor" event, he can charge for booth space and also make money that way.
For those that haven't been to the Long Beach Grand Prix....it's the only one of the 5-6 I've attended that I would attend again. The reason is: it's an event, where "the race" is part of the event.
The location draws all sorts of vendors and showmen. There is usually a BMX show, the convention center has all sorts of cars on display (everything from race cars to new manufacturer promotions)....then there is/are the celebrity race, the hundreds of food booths, etc.
One can walk around and be entertained all day Saturday and then come back for the race on Sunday.
From the dribbles of info that has been released, it feels to me like RG is planning something similar.
The grass roots part: Traxxas and Polaris is fantastic. I'm not into either, but - I can see people driving in from hundreds of miles away to participate in the Polaris 900 race. What a rush that would be if you had one. I didn't note whether there would be competitive RC racing on a track...but, that would be another HUGE draw. There is a business here in North Dallas that exists doing nothing but hosting RC races....and, it's a big facility.
The Stadium format will be GREAT for TV and for the fans in the seats. As much as I like the LB Grand Prix, watching the race live sort of sucks. No matter where you sit, you only get a small view of the track (and, this is coming from someone who puts road racing at the top of the interest list). In the stadium, you'll have a view of everything + a giant TV or two showing up close interviews, replays, etc. (something that didn't really exist in Mickey Thompson days - (as good))
In summary, a single weekend will draw people interested in: ATVs, Radio Controlled Cars, Racing, Monster Trucks, Off-Road and other general car enthusiasts.
I was dubious about the announcement at first. Kevin W. had pumped the thing so much it was really likely to disappoint...it didn't. It has HUGE potential.
As a final thought - when you go to a car show (like the "Good Guys"), there are always a ton of manufacturers with booths. I think this is pretty damn entertaining. Off the top of my head, Lincoln Electric, Miller, various tool box manufacturers, Armour-All, Meguires, Turtle Wax, Royal Purple, and on and on....
Heck, once RG has the Venue locked up for the weekend....would be pretty darn easy to have a car show too. Could even let folks show their car for free to just have the draw of a car show.
I mean, the "Good Guys" makes a living doing nothing but that - this SST thing could turn into an entire weekend of entertainment for the whole family.
Agree Chris - these weekends could easily evolve into something larger than just racing on the stadium floors, could create a broad scope of motor racing entertainment that would overlap everyone's interests. Brilliant!
well written Chris.
I just hope the series gets close to Thunder Bay.. Toronto or Minneapolis would work.. Chicago or Detroit would be okay.. I guess....
haha why the hell would I pump something up so much if I didn't BELIEVE in it? :) Anyway you hit the nail on the head... it's all about the "event"
I just hope Coliseum Officials don't demand luxuary skyboxs from the promoter. Those poeple in L.A. are crazy ! Thats why there is no professinal football teams in Los Angeles. Unsubstainable demands. Good luck RG DEALING WITH THEM.
umm...the NFL was making the demands of the stadium not the other way around. People in LA are crazy though. Basically the only way the NFL would let a team in the Colliseum is if they tore it down and built a new one. City of LA declined because they were spending that money on welfare programs. Yes, we are crazy, that's why we haven't all left yet. lol