The management of the Plymouth Gladiators have reluctantly decided to draw stumps on the 2020 season, cancelling the planned Saturday Fixtures on the 10th and 17th of October.
Club owner and Promoter Mark Phillips confirmed that a combination of circumstances had led he and fellow bosses to unanimously make the ultimate decision.
“We have staged two extremely successful fixtures at our own imposed capacity of 400. The feedback from everyone who attended and participated, and those who also watched our innovative Live Streaming of the initial Fixture has been universally positive.
We have learnt a lot, which will stand us in good stead for 2021. I’m particularly pleased too that the track, which was subject to a lot of criticism in the early months of 2019 , has benefited from many hours of toil and hard work, and delivered exciting racing, that some who have watched Speedway since its arrival at the venue, say is the best they have seen here. Rider feedback has been excellent too.
However, and despite the fact that we have confirmed with all relevant parties that regulation changes don’t prevent us from carrying on, we can’t hide from the fact that the national situation with Covid 19 has deteriorated significantly. Locally there are some worrying hotspots and we don’t want to be adding to those concerns in the City and surrounds.
We have an excellent online Ticketing portal that generates a huge amount of data, and whilst we have had no reports of anyone who has come to either of our Fixtures subsequently reporting any infection, or contacts with third party infection, there remains the worry that with increased levels of infection, we could be playing with fire, if continuing in to October.
We also get excellent meteorological data and that indicates both very wet weather in October and also some abnormally High Tides, which is a major concern, with the nearby tidal River Plym, regularly causing flooding to the Top Bend and Riders Car Park when we get high Autumn Tides..
We would like to thank everyone who has helped us to stage 2 excellent fixtures, all who came and took part.
We’ll now start to focus on exciting plans to transform The Coliseum in to a 365 day a year Community Stadium and Events Centre from 2021, through the PACE initiative, and ponder what direction we may be allowed to take in the Speedway League structure in 2021, which is frankly out of our control, but we rule nothing out and everything in. We will be ready to step up if asked or given the opportunity.
We have some exciting Commercial and Partnership initiatives in the pipeline that should only add to the progressive image we want to show, in both stabilising and taking the Sport forwards in our part of the South West.
Image Credits: Westcountryseen.