I have heard everything good and bad from the world of racing as of late. As a die-hard contest player, I hate seeing contests fall by the wayside. It costs too much money to put on the show, and then hope players make the trek. Here is a thought, and see if any of it fits.
Usually, a state is on the same tote system. You can save the $5-a-gallon gas, and cut back on travel costs by having a “Mega-Contest.” The entire state could allow players to sit at their favorite track, OTB, or play online. All monies would go into a common prize pool. The contest standings would be updated by a tote report, and the entire field could be followed. The tracks would be selected by contest administrators, and it would be pretty easy to regulate. Instead of sending three or four players to Vegas, it would be the top 12 – 15. The best part would be no extra cost to the player. No travel, gas, hotel, or trouble deciding to make the trek. As an industry we must take the game to the player.
I am seeing more players go to the online contests, and why not take a shot at joining them? I have heard more tracks are getting away from the old “brick and mortar” contests held at their track. The state could pull together, and have the contest three to four times a year to really get players excited. Make it easy… Give them the same access as other online contests. I like to play this style more and more. No travel costs, and it allows for tracks to better cover the cost. Sound easy? Well, it really can be…. I would play in the “Bluegrass Battle” or the “Buckeye Blowout.” I think you are getting the idea, as it would only grow for the future allowing ADW’s to take part. Now we are talking serious dough, and the sky is the limit. Sometimes we just need to drop back and punt, and see things from the player’s view. All of this may not sit well with you, but we can tweak it until it becomes the best option out there.
Gas is going up, and the drive is a pain in the rump. For some tracks, this will always work. But for many, it has gone the way of the dinosaur. I’ll bet you’ll like most of the idea, and on Saturday when I am playing from home against some of the best players, I’ll have everything at a click of a mouse, and winning is that much closer to home.