SWINDON’S Press and Practice day has reverted to its original date of Thursday, March 30 as the track will not be available on Thursday this week.
The stadium is in use on Wednesday night for the final of the Calne Racing Arc – the top greyhound event at Blunsdon – with £8,000 prize money.
The stadium owners were not keen on the speedway air fence being installed ahead of their big night so that work is due to be carried out on Thursday and extra volunteers have agreed to assist in what is normally a two-day task.
Riders will then be available for individual photographs before taking to the track at around 5.30pm.
Gates will open to the general public at this time to allow fans their first sight of the 2017 side. Admission will be free of charge but supporters will be invited to make a donation to the St John Ambulance.
The club shop will also be open for the sale of merchandise and season tickets.
The Blunsdon track looked immaculate after a full day’s work last week with heavy equipment brought in to level and prepare the surface. Even the rarely used inside track looks much smarter and should help present as good an image as possible for the greyhound fans in the old place.
Little progress is being made in constructing the new stadium and doubtless more will be revealed on Press and Practice day.
On the track, newly-married Jason Doyle and Nick Morris team up in the Premiership Pairs event at Somerset on Friday week. Both Australians were number ones at Somerset's Highbridge circuit for several years and perhaps go into the competition as favourites. Additionally both will be in action this Friday at Poole in the Darcy Ward Invitational which opens the season at Wimborne Road. Also taking part in a rare non-GP British appearance will be Russian Emil Sayfutdinov who is returning to the Grand Prix series this year.
The Swindon Robins open their league season at Leicester on Saturday, April 1 ahead of the first home meeting on April 6 against Belle Vue who include Swindon asset Justin Sedgmen and former Robins rider of the year Steve Worrall.
Sky Sports has dropped its coverage of domestic league speedway perhaps partly on the back of its increased financial commitment to Premier League football.
Fortunately BT Sport has stepped in and will show 18 meetings – but coverage only starts with the British Grand Prix Final in June.
As BT are the rights owners for the Grand Prix and World Cup, there is a logic that BT is showing all our top level speedway. Many believe that the sport has not capitalised on some 15 years of Sky coverage and the BSPA must ensure that maximum benefit is made from this new platform.