SPEEDWAY NEW ZEALAND
Speedway is the sport of 2,500 full-time competitors and over 2,300 casual competitors and their 8,000 odd crew totalling around 12,800 crew and competitors throughout New Zealand.
Speedway excitement is experienced every week throughout the summer season from Labour weekend until Easter. From some 23 venues our weekend warriors travel the land to entertain fans and share in the exhilaration that only Speedway can provide.
For over 70 years New Zealand Speedway has steadily grown from small beginnings throughout the country, to be big business in the major centres. The first Speedway meeting for motorbikes was conducted at English Park, Christchurch in 1928. Kilbirnie provided a Wellington venue in 1929 and Western Springs was first used for motorcycle Speedway in Auckland that same year.
The Speedway Control Board was formed in 1949 under the auspices of the Auto Cycle Union (ACU) and had authority over competitors and tracks that contracted Midgets, Three Quarter Midgets, Sidecars, Stockcars, Modified Saloon cars and Motorcycles then evolving into Speedway New Zealand Inc and out of the control of the ACU to be an independently recognised body in 1984.
Administrators have set up vast stadiums in the major centres to provide the best in creature comforts for our fans while small feeder tracks in outlying areas provide low cost grass roots entertainment.
The remarkable growth of Speedway can be attributed to forward thinking administrators who strive to provide exciting entertainment. Be it with the help of overseas drivers and riders from USA and Europe, our competitors are now amongst the best. Top New Zealand competitors now invade their shores, some with their own machinery, to compete equally against the best in the world.
Growth in Speedway can be best measured by attendance figures gathered from our 23 registered tracks. Total weekly attendance average figures better than 1600 people for a normal meeting, with figures climbing to around 15,000 people for feature events. 82% attend meetings on a regular basis, some attending the big meetings intermittently throughout the season while the remainder are irregular fans who watch once or twice a season. Speedway is for all age groups, young, old, male and female. Many followers see Speedway as good family entertainment.
Most Speedways provide as much variety as they can, be it pure Speedway with thoroughbred Motorcycles, Midget and Sprintcars, powerful Saloons and Modifieds or the mighty Stockcars, all have a place and support each other. Each race section has its own New Zealand title, Grand Prix and North and South Island title allocated every season. When provincial and track championships are also authorised, great opportunities for every kind of association and sponsorship are endless.