Petition opposed to the govt’s TT revamp

By Paul Hardman   |   Reporter   |
Wednesday 29th June 2022 10:41 am
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An online petition calling for a range of changes that will ‘take the TT back to its roots’ in 2023 has been launched, and so far has gathered over a thousand signatures.

The ten demanded changes effectively amount to returning the TT to a more traditional format, including wanting to see a return of the original (non-digital) scoreboard, the funfair on the prom, and the axing of all Fanzones while Grandstand ticket prices are reduced.

It rejects the government’s proposed major revamp of the 2023 TT schedule, for which it is soon to launch a public consultation.

Among these planned changes, which are understood to already be a foregone conclusion, is the moving of Senior Race Day from Friday to Saturday, spelling the end to ‘Mad Sunday’ as racing will instead be scheduled for that day.

The government hopes that these changes will attract more fans and boost the commercial success of the races.

The petitioners also do not want to see the races streamed live (as was done this year with the launch of the TT+ platform), arguing that this will reduce attendances, claiming that this happened with the North West 200 in Northern Ireland after the BBC NI introduced live streaming.

They do not want to allow the public to be allowed to purchase tickets for the VIP tent, saying that this ‘should be for sponsors and their guests only’.

And petitioners believe the Trackside Bar and Fan Park at the Grandstand should be scrapped, instead ‘redistributing the entertainment between various venues around the island’.

The campaign also wants to see the free access to the paddock maintained, and the TT launch returned to the Villa Marina (having this year been held at the Mountain View Innovation Centre near Ramsey) with ticket prices reduced.

And it wants the Radio TT contract to be given to Manx Radio ‘in perpetuity’ and ‘provide them with the budget to return it to the old (i.e. pre-2019) format’.

In past years, Manx Radio would post reporters to points around the course, whereas this year radio coverage was mainly based at the Grandstand.

Finally, campaigners call for ‘daily direct flights’ to be arranged between Northern Ireland and the island.

A common theme among comments of signatories was that the TT has become too commercialised and should be kept in its original format, as this is what its fans have enjoyed for decades.

One signatory wrote that there was now ‘too much corporate hospitality, taking the event away from the ‘real TT fans”’, with another saying it had been ‘spoilt by the corporate big boys who are only interested in the money’.

The petition can be found by searching ‘Implement the following changes for TT 2023!’ on change.org.

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