Why the USGP Moved from Gatorback to WW Ranch

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7/19/2017 4:41 AM

Whoa, things happen fast sometimes. After some years of acrimony between the promoters of the MX Nationals and the Youthstream, things quickly took a turn for the better this year when they agreed to cooperate on events here in the U.S. That resulted in a USGP scheduled for Labor Day weekend at Gatorback Raceway in Gainsville, FL. The sudden turn was remarkable, and good for all parties involved, including fans in the Southeast who had been clamoring for a world-class MX race in the Southeast.

But...suddenly, it was announced that there's a new venue for this year's USGP. WW Ranch, near Jacksonville, FL. That's only about a 70 mile difference, and it still works for the logistics of the arriving GP equipment. So what happened? Well, as we understand it, it goes like this...

Wyn Kern, the longtime promoter at Gatorback, had been leasing the track from a group of owners. In the past, every time it came time for renewal, a new agreement had been worked out, and the lease was extended. The most recent lease ended in June, and Wyn assumed that he'd be able to renegotiate a deal to continue into the future.

Apparently there was also a provision in the lease that if there was ever an AMA National (not GP) there, that there would be a relative increase in price.

We've been told that when the owners discovered that a World Championship GP had been scheduled there, they weren't happy, and boosted the cost of a renewal to an unreasonable level...far beyond the double price. More like in the realm of 1000%. Negotiations went back and forth, but were still too far apart to come to an agreement.

Attempts were made to even rent the facility for that weekend only. Those also failed.

For all intents and purposes, it sounds like Gatorback is now done, and it's likely that the Mini O's will also be moving to WW Ranch.

So that's it in a nutshell. We're looking forward to checking out the race on September 3rd.

You can check out the WW Ranch web site at: http://www.wwmotox.com

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7/19/2017 4:49 AM

Sounds like someone tried to pull a fast one and it bit him in the ass.

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7/19/2017 4:52 AM

Show me the money

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7/19/2017 4:56 AM

Idaho747 wrote:

Sounds like someone tried to pull a fast one and it bit him in the ass.

Exactly!!! why be THAT greedy for money and in the end you get squat. Now we've all got an amazing taste of wtf in our mouths for Gatorback .....when initially I was extremely happy to hear of the GP going there. Everyone want their slice of the pie I guess, or the whole damn pie in this case.

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7/19/2017 5:01 AM

There's a huge difference between a proportional increase and going many, many multiples of the previously agreed price...

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7/19/2017 5:01 AM

Don't confuse us with facts! Didn't you see that ehr400 told us already in the other thread who really is to blame for all that venue change thingy?

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"Me fail English? That’s unpossible." - Ralph Wiggum

7/19/2017 5:02 AM

Dang.

Greedy landlords.

What a bummer for the entire MX community.

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7/19/2017 5:05 AM

mxmasta wrote:

Don't confuse us with facts! Didn't you see that ehr400 told us already in the other thread who really is to blame for all that venue change thingy?



wink
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7/19/2017 5:08 AM

Casting wrote:

Dang.

Greedy landlords.

What a bummer for the entire MX community.

Bummer? A bummer would be a last-minute cancellation.

Given the same proximity, and the good stuff we've heard about the WW Ranch, there were definitely worse outcomes available.

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7/19/2017 5:10 AM

Thanks for the explanation, Steve. I'm sure by now you know I only live a few miles from there, so I'm pretty jazzed. I do love Gatorback, so I hate to see it go away, but that's none of my business.

Junior is a great human being. He goes out of his way to talk to old vets like me and make us feel at home. I think he and the crew there at WW will put on a fantastic show.

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7/19/2017 5:13 AM

Harry Backmon wrote:

Thanks for the explanation, Steve. I'm sure by now you know I only live a few miles from there, so I'm pretty jazzed. I do love Gatorback, so I hate to see it go away, but that's none of my business.

Junior is a great human being. He goes out of his way to talk to old vets like me and make us feel at home. I think he and the crew there at WW will put on a fantastic show.

Cool! You can be the local tour guide. smile

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7/19/2017 5:15 AM

Who knows, this could end up working out for the best. I'm glad the greedy jerks who own the Gatorback property are getting bumpkis but it will be a shame if the place shuts down over this.

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7/19/2017 5:19 AM

1000% increase lolololoo...... Why would anybody even suggest a thing and think they have the power to extort that from someone.

I would've walked too after that first meeting.

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"Life is Too Short To Last Long"

7/19/2017 5:21 AM

Harry Backmon wrote:

Thanks for the explanation, Steve. I'm sure by now you know I only live a few miles from there, so I'm pretty jazzed. I do love Gatorback, so I hate to see it go away, but that's none of my business.

Junior is a great human being. He goes out of his way to talk to old vets like me and make us feel at home. I think he and the crew there at WW will put on a fantastic show.

GuyB wrote:

Cool! You can be the local tour guide. smile

You know it! There could be a pre-party at Casa-de-Harry, but we put the house on the market last week. I think there's a good chance we will still be there come early September. If so, then any that want to come should bring swimmin' britches and an appetite for slow-smoked ribs, chicken, brisket and sausage. I'll have some gator tail too, of course.

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7/19/2017 5:25 AM

Harry Backmon wrote:

Thanks for the explanation, Steve. I'm sure by now you know I only live a few miles from there, so I'm pretty jazzed. I do love Gatorback, so I hate to see it go away, but that's none of my business.

Junior is a great human being. He goes out of his way to talk to old vets like me and make us feel at home. I think he and the crew there at WW will put on a fantastic show.

GuyB wrote:

Cool! You can be the local tour guide. smile

Harry Backmon wrote:

You know it! There could be a pre-party at Casa-de-Harry, but we put the house on the market last week. I think there's a good chance we will still be there come early September. If so, then any that want to come should bring swimmin' britches and an appetite for slow-smoked ribs, chicken, brisket and sausage. I'll have some gator tail too, of course.

Sounds like we may need to get this on the books

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7/19/2017 5:28 AM

It's disappointing that the Professional organizations involved couldn't have learned from the past mistakes and not repeated them. A contract for an event on a piece of property must surely have a clause for rights to the property?

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7/19/2017 5:30 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/19/2017 5:39 AM

@Bummer? A bummer would be a last-minute cancellation.

Given the same proximity, and the good stuff we've heard about the WW Ranch, there were definitely worse outcomes available.




I disagree. A last-minute cancellation would be a disaster, depressing, a mess, and plenty of other things.

A change of venue months prior to an event after people have already made travel plans is a bummer (a thing that is annoying).

I think a last minute cancellation is significantly worse than a bummer or "a thing that is annoying" according to the Google definition of the word. I think a last minute cancellation would have people furious... not simply bummed out.

Just an opinion though. To each his own.

Edit: I agree there are worse outcomes available. That is definitely true. I just think the situation is a bummer for the sport as there is an easily observed pattern here with MXGP and venues.

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7/19/2017 5:31 AM

The Mini-O's at Gatorback was the first "Big" race I ever went to when I was starting out in my 85cc days. Sucks that the sport loses a track with so much history.

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7/19/2017 5:31 AM

Soooo what does this mean for the Stewarts? whistling

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7/19/2017 5:33 AM

WOW what a shit show we have going on here, I'm extremely disappointed its not going to be at Gatorback. Its a proven facility with a history of big races and natural terrain that provides for more interesting viewing. Shame on the owners.

Now its moved haphazardly and at the last minute to a facility that has never had a national caliber race. How sure are we that this promoter has even gone through the proper channels to get permitted to have a race this large? Honestly, this could fall through just as easily or be a cluster if the race does actually go off.

It takes time to prepare for a race this large.........I was really excited about attending and now I'm out, I've looked at the overhead views of the facility. Sure its positive that the even hasn't been totally canceled yet but I'm not excited about the track at all.

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7/19/2017 5:34 AM

Extremely bummed about Gatorback, but at the same time extremely happy for WW Ranch. The place is amazing and Junior will do everything he possibly can to get it done properly. If Junior and Wyn get together to make this happen properly, this could be a great GP. The track will be good. The facility will be good. Its not too far from home. Not too far from Gatorback. Im excited. If anyone that is flying into Tampa/Orlando area for the race needs some direction, feel free to contact me!

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7/19/2017 5:36 AM

Thanks to Gatorback ownership for shitting all over American Motocross.

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7/19/2017 5:38 AM

Hopefully this will help some of you guys find lodging.



Photo

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7/19/2017 5:38 AM

Sucks for the Wyn, but I'm glad they didn't have to cancel it.

I've ridden at both tracks and this is likely an improvement. Yeah, it would've been cool for nostalgia sake to have another national caliber race at Gatorback, but I think WW will be better for spectators and fans, and maybe better racing.

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7/19/2017 5:53 AM

"We've been told that when the owners discovered that a World Championship GP had been scheduled there, they weren't happy..."

How were the owners notified? If from other than Mr. Kern, then the rescheduling lies at the promoter's feet. Are the owners acting "greedy" for demanding a ludicrous rate hike? Probably. Was the promoter acting greedy by using the "hey, it's not a National" clause? Probably.

In the end Mr. Kern likely knew the owners would increase the lease if he informed them of the MXGP, and hoped they would abide by the terms of the lease. It's not hard to imagine that the promoter hoped the lease would be renewed before the owners were aware of the race. It was a gamble that didn't pay off.

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"You can't resist the louder pull..."

7/19/2017 6:06 AM

How does the AMA/MXGP even award this guy a race when he had not already secured the lease covering the date of the MXGP? Does anyone do any due diligence? A promise to secure the lease is not the same as securing the lease so how does this even happen? Total joke if you ask me.

MXGP: Hey Wyn do you have a secured lease for the Gatorback track for the specific date of the MXGP?

Wyn: Not yet but I super promise I'll get one.

MXGP: Okay that's good enough for us.

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7/19/2017 6:15 AM

Harry Backmon wrote:

Hopefully this will help some of you guys find lodging.



Photo

I have stayed at the Hampton there. Good, clean place.

Ate (drank) at Mr. Chubby's!

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7/19/2017 6:18 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/19/2017 6:21 AM

I am sure the story is much deeper then shown here. They obviously didn't want to do business with him anymore. When you have a big fish on the line, you don't usually cut the line unless its pulling the boat backwards and potentially sinking it.

Maybe the mini o's, 3 or so hare scrambles, MX races, track rentals plus a GP added up to too much $$$ for wyn and not enough for the property owners. Add to that late payments or something, property misuse and liability concerns and that is probably closer to the truth. Of course I am just guessing.

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7/19/2017 6:18 AM

Harry Backmon wrote:

Hopefully this will help some of you guys find lodging.



Photo

AHRMA361 wrote:

I have stayed at the Hampton there. Good, clean place.

Ate (drank) at Mr. Chubby's!

Yep. All those places are only like five years old. There's like 4 hotels there, and they all have suites and regular rooms. Forget Chubbys. Casa-de-Harry serves the best food.

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7/19/2017 6:19 AM

TXDirt wrote:

How does the AMA/MXGP even award this guy a race when he had not already secured the lease covering the date of the MXGP? Does anyone do any due diligence? A promise to secure the lease is not the same as securing the lease so how does this even happen? Total joke if you ask me.

MXGP: Hey Wyn do you have a secured lease for the Gatorback track for the specific date of the MXGP?

Wyn: Not yet but I super promise I'll get one.

MXGP: Okay that's good enough for us.

Haha exactly my first thought when I read this!

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