New era for Sheffield Tigers with ‘Speedway Sundays’ to start from next season

Sheffield Tigers speedway action: picture courtesy of Andy Garner.
Sheffield Tigers speedway action: picture courtesy of Andy Garner.

Speedway fans have given a mixed reaction to the news that Sheffield Tigers will race on Sundays from next season.

Club bosses say they they did consider the prospect of promotion to the Premiership to preserve their traditional Thursday night racing, but believe the time isn't quite right to make the step up a level.

They added they hoped the the move to Sundays will make race-day a more ‘family friendly occasion’ and a better ‘all-round experience’ for fans.

Co-promoter Damien Bates said: "The Premiership now have Thursday as one of two set nights for racing.

"We considered applying to join that league but we feel after the tough season we have just had we need to consolidate and rebuild for a season.

"We are confident we can build a team to challenge for honours and to that end we are talking to our targets right now.

"The move to Sunday as a home race-day represents an exciting new challenge.

"It's something we have considered for the last two seasons anyway because we want to make home meetings more of a complete entertainment package and an occasion.

"We will be working on the entertainment side of things, rider signing sessions, Q&A sessions, things like that and the intention is to have a start time which means families can get young children to bed in good time for school on Monday.

"The challenge is to now raise awareness of our new race-day and we have plans in place to push the name of Sheffield Speedway out there."

On Twitter most fans were not happy with the news, with many saying the change will mean they won’t be able to attend.

Longley resident‏ said: “Pretty disappointing outcome to the AGM for traditionalists - Thursday night speedway at Owlerton always the start to the weekend - what happens when stox on?"

And Wayne Fielding‏ said: “Just a shame that those of us who work or are involved in Sunday league football won’t be able to attend now. Biggest Sunday junior league in the country to compete with. Five in our family that can’t attend anymore. #sadday #notradition.”

There was some support for the initiative, however, with some seeing positives in the shakeup.

Rob Howe‏ said: “A brave but ultimately positive move. As much as Thursday night in Sheffield was always a speedway night you have to move on and change things to prosper.

“I appreciate that Sundays wont suit everyone but it’s a great move to encourage more families and away fans to attend.”