• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

How Gateway Motorsports Park Involved Loyal Fans for Its Latest Upgrades

Gateway Motorsports Park - Racing - Sports

With a desire to offer the best fan experience in all of motorsports, Gateway Motorsports Park has taken a unique step to find out what fans want to see improved at GMP.

Gateway, which hosts NHRA, INDYCAR racing and a NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series event, worked with Maryville University to determine a wide range of questions to ask the most important person that steps foot on track property: the fan.

Gateway first conducted a survey following its 2017 INDYCAR events and had worked with the NHRA on general surveys about race day experience, but Owner and President Curtis Francois and his team wanted a survey that the fans could complete right after a major event.

“After we saw feedback from our 2017 survey, we knew we should do more surveys for our events,” said Francois. “We want the fans to have a voice. Many are very loyal and email at least once a month. We got a lot of ‘thank yous’ from our fans for allowing their voice to be heard and ideas processed.”

READ MORE: How NASCAR Stays Up to Speed in the Ever-Changing Digital Space

The goal of the surveys? Not only to determine what Gateway Motorsports Park does well, but to take a look at what they need to improve so that fans attending an event at GMP can have the best race day experience in motorsports.

“The surveys gave us a direct line to know what the fans are thinking about Gateway,” Francois said. “We are not afraid of criticism. We want the truth and to be able to fix problems. Anything we can control, we’ll fix. Our fans are some of the most loyal in racing, and at Gateway, the grassroots fan rules. We want to make sure our spectators have as good an experience at Gateway as at another facility.”

Among the major points that the fan surveys took the leadership at GMP was that spectators wanted simplicity when it came to seating levels and pricing.

“Our premium seats that are located right at the start-finish line are now checkered, while our general admission seats are gray. It’s much easier for the fans to distinguish between seating levels. General admission is gray on our seating map because it’s a gray bench seat. It’s very user and fan friendly. The fans can look at our map and see the different colors, which correspond to a different price and purchase what they want.”

Purchasing tickets was another big item that the fans brought to Francois’ attention through the surveys.

“We gave our fans options with ticket packages, including our new checkered-flag club,” said Francois. “We noticed that the majority of fans who buy seats in our checkered-flag area were buying every add-on possible.”

With the addition of the checkered-flag club, instead of having to buy a seat and wait for upgrades to come out at a later date, fans may purchase everything from parking, a grandstand seat and upgrades all with one click.

[mc4wp_form id=”8260″]

It was not an overnight process for Gateway Motorsports Park to redevelop its seating levels and ticket packages. It took time for the track leadership to figure out the best way to package everything, but Francois believes it has been a hit.

“This year, we were able to finalize a seating layout for INDYCAR and NASCAR and lock things down to make a great ticket package for the fans,” said Francois. “In the first two years, it was a bit of a puzzle to figure things out. Fans love having a chance to buy things in bulk and not only get the best deal, but also get a wider seat this year. The response has been great.”

One of the final changes to GMP was moving the video screen more than 300 feet closer to the grandstands, so that the fans can have a better look at the on-track action.

Francois and company worked with Screenworks during its second INDYCAR event in 2017 to take measurements of the boards and look at locations. Four weeks later, the Screenworks team finalized a location for a screen that moved closer to the start-finish line.

“All of our video boards are portable,” Francois said. “We used a lot of trial and error and spent ample time with the Screenworks crew analyzing the decision.”

An avid NASCAR fan is probably wondering if Gateway Motorsports Park has its eye on receiving a date on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule.

WATCH: Inside Toyota’s Massive Daytona Activation

While coy on the subject, Francois and his team have seen that Gateway can host successful events at the highest level. Whether it’s an INDYCAR event with 40,000 fans or a sold-out NHRA event, the St. Louis community supports all types of motorsports, including the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series event that takes place at GMP each year.

“Certainly, if a Cup race came to Gateway, we would be able to host it,” said Francois.

Francois and his team refuse to settle and have a “can’t stop, won’t stop” attitude when it comes to making Gateway Motorsports Park one of the best facilities in the country.

“Every day, I come to my office at GMP and take personal pride in making sure that the facility is as good as it can be. We’ve become a trendsetter with renovations and upgrades because we never stop. I drive the facility, talk to our fans and stakeholders. We listen and implement changes that address any concerns. The net effect of that, over seven years I’ve owned Gateway, has been that we are setting the trend right along with the biggest facilities in the country. We have local ownership and a great relationship with fans and media. We want the track to be the best it can be. That’s the driving force behind the improvements. We will do what it takes.”

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Jan 13, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; The U.S. Capitol Building is seen on Jan. 13, 2021, one week after it was stormed by a pro-Trump mob while a joint session of Congress was certifying the 2020 election victory of President Elect Joe Biden.

House Committee Sends Bill Banning College Athlete Employment to House Floor

The bill has gone further than any other athlete compensation legislation.
May 10, 2024; Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Williams during a press conference before Chicago Bears rookie minicamp at Halas Hall.

Caleb Williams Launches Investment Firm Before Signing a Bears Contract

Williams announced 888 Midas for private equity, VC, and real estate deals.
Apr 13, 2024; Hartford, CT, USA; UConn Huskies head coach Dan Hurley greets fans as he arrives at the state capitol before the teams victory parade.

The Many Beneficiaries of Dan Hurley’s UConn Career Crisis

His return inadvertently helped the players, athletic department, and perhaps the conference.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

The Major Implications of the SCOTUS Sports Betting Decision

0:00

Featured Today

Jan 3, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; General view of the NFL shield logo signage before the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.

Odds Stacked Against NFL in Multibillion-Dollar Sunday Ticket Trial

Why the class action trial does not look promising for the league.
Jan 7, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter (11) takes a three-point shot against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at Chase Center.
June 9, 2024

‘Bound to Happen’: The Age of the Sports Betting Scandal Has Arrived

A banishment, betting scheme, and guilty plea all in one scandal-filled span.
June 8, 2024

‘Experimental in Nature’: The Rapid, Confounding Rise of Streaming Bundles

Here’s why confusion continues to outweigh solutions in the streaming package boom.
June 2, 2024

The Nostalgia Market: Michael Jordan’s Memorabilia Remains Coveted, With Caveats

Due to scarcity, and sometimes, items’ undisclosed whereabouts, this world has limitations.

Top Sports Business Jobs This Week (May 2024)

Each week, our staff combs through the thousands of job listings from…
August 10, 2022

PGA Tour Touts Projected Earnings to Keep Players

The PGA Tour is asking its players to consider their potential futures.
October 3, 2022

Real Madrid President Renews Call for Super League

Real Madrid’s president believes that soccer is losing ground.
Sponsored

How HOKA is Reimagining the NIL Relationship

HOKA, the renowned athletic footwear and apparel brand, is betting on a new reality with NIL.
August 10, 2022

Bayern Munich to Make Growth Push in U.S. Market

Bayern Munich is looking to expand its reach in the U.S.
Nintendo-logo
August 3, 2022

Nintendo Profits Underwhelm, Switch Sales Decline

Nintendo failed to meet expectations in the company’s latest earnings report.
manfred_at_microphone
August 19, 2021

MLB Owners Propose $100M Salary Floor

Major League Baseball owners have proposed a $100 million payroll minimum for MLB’s 30 teams and a lower luxury tax threshold.
nfl_logo
July 23, 2021

NFL to Players: Get Vaccinated or Pay the Price

The NFL’s threatening to drop the financial hammer on un-vaccinated players and teams that cause forfeited games in 2021, according to memo.