SBJ/May 9-15, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Supercross hits some nice jumps

A compelling, five-rider competition for the Monster Energy Supercross championship lifted the series ratings and attendance in 2011.

The season, which finished in Las Vegas over the weekend, was one of the most competitive in series history, and fans responded. Race attendance through 15 events increased 5 percent to 734,685 and pit attendance increased 29 percent to 196,206. (Attendance for the Las Vegas finals weren’t available at press time.)

“We were blessed with the greatest season ever, with five guys mixing it up and within points of each other until the end of the season,” said Ken Hudgens, CEO of series owner Feld Motor Sports.
 
CHRIS WEEDON
The recently completed season saw increases in ratings and attendance.
The biggest attendance increase occurred for the series’ second race in Anaheim, up 32 percent to 45,050. That was a response in part to the series’ decision to relocate one of its three Anaheim races to Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium. The first event at Dodger Stadium drew 41,107 people, and Hudgens said the series plans to return there in 2012.

The least-attended event was Jacksonville. The series was there for its third year and drew 30,257 spectators, a 21 percent decrease from 2010. Series organizers plan to eliminate that event in 2012 and hold a race in New Orleans’ Superdome, which last hosted an event in 2009.

“There just weren’t enough people buying tickets [in Jacksonville],” Hudgens said. “A lot of riders are from Florida, but Florida has never been overly supportive.”

CBS saw ratings increase 33 percent for its nine, one-hour race recaps, which earned a 0.8 Nielsen rating, up from a 0.6 in 2010. Speed aired 17 telecasts, including five live races, and earned a 0.2, up from a 0.1 for 21 telecasts, including four live races, in 2010.

“Speed stepped up with an incredible increase in the promotion of the series both with spots driving tune-in and with coverage on ‘Speed Central,’” Hudgens said.

All of the series’ major sponsors, from Monster Energy to Parts Unlimited to Toyota, are set to return in 2012.

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