POLL: Winton as a TV-only event
Monday 31st May, 2021 - 2:58pm
Under normal circumstances, this week’s Pirtek Poll might have been about who impressed you the most at the just-completed Winton SuperSprint.
Instead, Supercars’ regional Victorian event is now set to unfold from the end of July, having been postponed amid a new COVID-19 cluster in the state’s capital.
As it turns out, professional sport was allowed to go ahead in Victoria on the weekend just passed, without crowds, meaning a television-only event at Winton would have been possible.
By postponing, however, Supercars and promoter Benalla Auto Club (BAC) have the opportunity to put on a show in front of live spectators, and that brings us to this week’s question.
That is, would you have preferred the Winton event to go ahead for television only, or is it better to wait until fans can attend?
Television-only events became the norm last yet, if not always officially, then certainly in practice.
While the first event back from the suspension of the 2020 season, at Sydney Motorsport Park, was a complete lockout, those which followed generally proceeded with small crowds.
One need only look at the backlash when it appeared spectators would not be able to attend the 2018 pre-season test at SMP to see how keen fans are to at least have the chance to go to events.
However, putting on events with small or non-existent crowds was the only way to deliver a reasonable amount of racing last year.
It should also be noted that Supercars must wear the cost when it cannot sell tickets, and therefore has a financial incentive to facilitate fan attendance. That latest disruption will cause no joy to the organisation either.
What its latest calendar change does do is give BAC a chance of still welcoming spectators, and Winton is a rarity on the calendar in so much that it is (ordinarily) open to camping.
Further, any fans who were intending on showing up last weekend would have been put out by the state government’s decision anyway, although the many thousands more who would have watched on television ended up with an expected weekend devoid of Supercars action.
What would you prefer? A television-only event which went ahead last weekend, or fans at the race track? Cast your vote in this week’s Pirtek Poll.