MAY 30, 2008
A thought for the sport
While the motorsport world stares intently at its own navel, wondering whether Max Mosley will survive as FIA president or not, there are several signs this week that the sport needs to remove its blinkers and make sure that it does everything possible to ensure that it continues to compete in a world that is becoming ever more cluttered with sport. The National Football League in the United States reports that it sold 40,000 tickets in the first 90 minutes of the box office being open for its second match to be held at London's Wembley Stadium. The first, which took place in October last year, was watched by a sellout crowd of 81,000 people and according to UK viewing figures the NFL TV audience has grown by 40% since then. This year's game will be at the end of October and will feature the New Orleans Saints against the San Diego Chargers. The NFL league commissioner Roger Goodell has also endorsed a recommendation that the NFL play at least one game in the UK for the next three years, working on the idea that playing regular season games at international venues will build an international fan base.
The Indian Premier League cricket league had been hoping to play a match in England to promote the series but this plan has had to be called off because of the league's failure to find someone to televise the game.
These events are not of any great individual significance but, rather like the losses announced recently by the World Rally Championship, they do underline the fact that motorsport needs to keep working hard to stay ahead of the game. The competition is not just between the teams, and between different factions at the FIA. It is with other sports and with other leisure activities.
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