Two UK Bank holidays should help IOMTT attendees enjoy more racing.
by Dustin Wheelen from https://www.rideapart.com
The Isle of Man TT (IOMTT) returned to the Snaefell Mountain Course in 2022 after a two-year hiatus. As expected, drama unfolded over the two-week period, but officials are always searching for ways to make the Tourist Trophy even better. With the aim of enhancing the event’s long-term sustainability by increasing overall visitor numbers, the new 10-race schedule addresses issues identified by IOMTT organizers.
“This research revealed that the existing TT schedule, the Island’s travel capacity, the Island’s accommodation infrastructure, costs factored against the current economic climate, and customers’ changing habits are no longer compatible and do not meet the needs of the event’s customers,” stated MHK Minister for Enterprise Lawrie Hooper.
To optimize the TT’s crowd-welcoming ability, organizers scheduled the opening-day qualifying on May 29, 2023, the U.K.’s Spring Bank Holiday. Authorities also deemed Friday, June 9, 2022, the “TT Bank Holiday”, bookending the racing event with two three-day weekends.
The 2023 Isle of Man TT schedule follows:
- Monday, May 29, 2023 – Morning & Afternoon Qualifying
- Tuesday, May 30, 2023 – Evening Qualifying
- Wednesday, May 31, 2023 – Evening Qualifying
- Thursday, June 1, 2023 – Evening Qualifying
- Friday, June 2, 2023 – Afternoon Qualifying
- Saturday, June 3, 2023 – Supersport (Race 1) and Sidecar (Race 1)
- Sunday, June 4, 2023 – Superbike TT
- Tuesday, June 6, 2023 – Superstock (Race 1) and Supertwin (Race 1)
- Wednesday, June 7, 2023 – Supersport (Race 2) and Sidecar (Race 2)
- Friday, June 9, 2023 – Superstock (Race 2) and Supertwin (Race 2)
- Saturday, June 10, 2023 – Senior TT
Of course, many IOMTT attendees predicate travel plans based on their work schedules. By recognizing two Bank Holidays over the course of the 2023 IOMTT, organizers hope to increase the economic benefits to local businesses. From hotels to restaurants to pubs, the extended schedule should help Isle of Man commerce to better accommodate visiting sportbike fans.
‘The Island’s current TT capacity is limited to around 28,000 visitors at any one time, with the current visitor curve highlighting infrastructure pressures in the middle weekend,” added Hooper. “In its simplest form, the new schedule aims to sustain current visitor numbers while promoting growth. We expect this new schedule to encourage new visitor patterns and capitalize on capacity, driving an additional 50,000 bed nights over time, representing an additional spend on the Island of £6 million (~$7M USD).”
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