Money usually talks though in the case of professional sports the people who like to whine and moan about overpaid athletes tend to be the ones who also shell out the cash for overpriced nosebleed tickets and $10 beers.
Maybe not so much with Supercross.
If you weren't there, missed the race on TV or didn't follow any of the post-race reporting and scuttlebutt the bigger picture story was the poor attendance at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. Last year's attendance at this stadium was also forgettable. Just a few years ago, 71,000 fans filled the Georgia Dome! But, when a nearly 70,000 seat venue is only at about 20 percent capacity it looks like the sport is dying.
Compare this year's Santa Clara attendance a week later to the crowd on Saturday at Indianapolis in a similar size setting. It was at least double the turnout in Indy than what Santa Clara pulled.
Perhaps it's time to look at other places to hold a Supercross race. On June 23, 2014, Levi's Stadium issued a press release stating the Santa Clara Stadium Authority signed a multi-year venue partnership with Feld Moto Sports, a division of Feld Entertainment. How unfortunate. But, hopefully multi-year equals two years.
So how come the home of the San Francisco 49ers doesn't bring out Supercross fans in droves? Well, a number of reasons likely exist.
One of those is the location not only the host city but where the venue sits. Whoever greenlighted building a National League Football stadium next door to a major theme park needs to have his or her head examined. Just another politician wanting their name forever enshrined on a bronze plaque, apparently. Traffic and parking is abysmal even when the turnout is lackluster. Glad I turned down those free Super Bowl tickets!
The main parking lot, you know the one right in front of the stadium? That's for Great America. Perhaps you can park there, I don't know. I opted for the Marriott parking lot down the street. After walking for 15 minutes I got turned away at the door because my wife's purse was too big. A 30 minute round trip later, almost got turned away again because her clutch purse was borderline too big. Geez, can I wear a jacket? We didn't take the chance so we shivered for three hours.
But I digress. The point here is just entering an NFL venue with such strict rules in place makes it a pain in the tailpipe to begin with. Who says the terrorists aren't winning? Why bother attending when you can sit in front of your television in the comfort of your own home and skip paying $15 for a small snowball's worth of flavored crushed ice even if it does come with a "cool" cup. The gentleman sitting next to me who shelled out the dough summed it up best when he asked "How much for the one without the cool cup?"
Secondly, Santa Clara is in the heart of the Silicon Valley. Not exactly prime dirt bike riding real estate here. This is also the sixth round in the state of California. Enough already. Southern California gets more than its fair share and Oakland doesn't exactly sell out so why add another round to an already overly saturated state especially when fans in the Pacific Northwest keep screaming for Supercross to come back after Seattle lost out when a parking lot was built on top of the traditional pits area.
Lots has been said in recent years about the state of Supercross. Clearly, it's not the cash cow like the NFL but it's not exactly bankrupt. However, asking fans to come to races rather than bringing the race to the fans eventually takes its toll. It was a smart idea to add Gillette Stadium this year in Massachusetts, time will tell if it works out. If not, then find a new place.
Just like it's time to get Supercross out of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.
The best option here is bring a round back to the Pacific Northwest and not necessarily Seattle. Central Oregon is Motocross rich and a 54,000 seat venue awaits in Eugene, OR at Autzen Stadium. Travis Pastrana already knows this because he's bringing Nitro Circus to where the Oregon Ducks play next month.
If the Pacific Northwest isn't an option then give the fans in the Midwest or back east another round. At the risk of negating the idea proposed for Oregon, this year's schedule includes eight rounds in the Pacific Time Zone. No, Las Vegas and Arizona don't exactly equate to West Coast but you get the picture. Four rounds in Southern California and four more rounds within a six hour drive of Southern California. Yet, only two rounds in the Heartland.
Just imagine the attendance at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
And for many of the riders, they'll finally go to college.