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MILDENHALL TO BE SHUT DOWN?

David Crane  Thursday, January 31, 2002  21:19 GMT

I cannot believe this story.

MILDENHALL FUTURE IN DOUBT

Mildenhall are facing the very real prospect of closure this year as promoter Dingle Brown cannot see a solution around bringing the West Row circuit in line with new Speedway Control Board regulations.

The club, one of only two teams with Buxton to be ever-present’s in the Conference League since its launch, have enjoyed eight consecutive seasons of racing following two closures in the past. But Brown has admitted that that could possibly turn into third time unlucky for the Fen Tigers unless a light appears at the end of a very dark tunnel.

Brown has yet to make a decision on whether to declare Mildenhall will be racing in the Conference League this year at tomorrow’s deadline day, leaving the future of the club severely in doubt.

Brown commented: “It’s a very difficult one. I love promoting at Mildenhall, there are a lot of very good people involved with the club and I know they don’t want to see the Fen Tigers drop out of the league.”

“But looking at the alternatives at the moment, where the track is concerned, it’s impossible to come to any firm decision. Apart from the cost of something like an air fence, there is a lot more work involved and to be honest we are up to our limit at the circuit where that is concerned.”

The stumbling block for the Suffolk outfit is that they must either bring the safety fence forward by two metres or install an air fence, the latter being the option chosen by Elite League side Coventry, who had faced the same dilemma as Mildenhall.

The club is need of a major sponsor to back the club financially, similar to that of which local side Ipswich gained from a local radio station when they faced the prospect of closure a few years back owing to stadium rental increases.

Brown, who disclosed he has an illness in the family which is likely to take up a lot of time between now and the start of the season, continued: “I’m sure nobody wants to see Mildenhall fold because we have been one of the mainstays of the Conference League, which although criticised in some quarters in the early stages has done a lot of good for the sport.”

“We are seeing quite a lot of higher division clubs getting together Conference League teams for the competition and it’s grown into a very valid tournament. But as I’ve said, I just can’t say at the moment whether or not I will be able to carry on promoting.”

If you can help the club survive, either with major sponsoring or hands-on support, you can contact club promoter Dingle Brown via the details on this official club website link:

http://www.mildenhall.homestead.com/clubdetails.html

Mildenhall's West Row Stadium has been good enough for speedway since they came back in 1994 so what's all the fuss about? If the BSPA really care about grassroots speedway then let us see them come up with the money from the Sky sponsorship deal to keep this attractive little stadium open to speedway racing and not allow adminstrators to close them down.

Steve Harland
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