Serious Biz - The McChump Study

Hawthorne Racecourse, November 18, 1995

While the McChump Racing Tour has spent most of 1995 asserting, in succinct prose, that racing is the Bestest and Funnest Form of Entertainment Known to Mankind, the hypothesis has never been subjected to critical objective analysis. Therefore, this 14th (and probably final) installment of the McChump 1995 ??/365 Racing Tour Report, featuring in this episode Hawthorne Racecourse, will be presented in the form of an ultra-scientifical and numerical comparison of Racing to Another Form of Professional Sports Entertainment.

The subjects of this study were:

a) Hawthorne Racecourse, Hawthorne Gold Cup Day, 11/18/95
b) Chicago's United Center, Blackhawks vs. New York Rangers, 11/16/95

The hard numbers:

                             United Center  Hawthorne

Parking:                       $10.00         $3.00* 
Admission/seating:             $50.00         $4.25*
Program:                        $4.00         $1.50    
Beer:                           $4.00         $2.75
Big greasy Polish:              -----         $3.00
Big greasy pizza:               $4.50         -----

Totals:                        $72.50        $14.50

* I think.

The intangibles (presented here in the BSF format - 80=par)

Traffic on the way:              60 (rush hour) 35 (construction) 
Track cafe:                      -0             80 (Sportsman's)
National anthem:                 65             64
Yelling during the
  National anthem                95              1
Concessions (variety)            87             12
Concessions (costs)              55             84
Gift Shop  (variety)             97             12
Gift shop (costs)                56             68
Concession help whose
  primary job seemed to
  be "aerobics 
  instructor"                    75             -0
Cool old bartenders 
  named Bennie                   -0             95
Championship banners
  hanging from rafters           87             -0
Big pile of pumpkins
  in the infield                 -0             92
Hot babes in tight
  jeans and low cut
  blouses shooting
  goals during 2nd
  intermission                   82             -0
Overweight ex-madames
  wearing green leather
  cowboy outfits with
  green leather cowboy
  hats and green boots
  with cute little
  spurs                          -0            114
Heavy equipment                  85 (Zambonis)  82 (Tractors)
Characters talking
  to themselves                  -0             86
Totally drunk young
  women whose 
  boyfriends were
  holding them up and
  you were hoping they
  didn't puke on your
  shoes                          72             -0
Beer advertising                 92             17
Underachieving stars:            58 (Bob Probert) 47 (Recoup the Cash)
Big fat stoopers in
  blue sweat pants
  and green sweaters             -0             88
Grade II races on 
  the program                    -0             80
Thrashings of some
  scummy team from NY            80             -0

Totals:                        1146           1057   

Thus, we find that while racing is easily the best bargain in sports entertainment, the "big time" sports world has managed edge out racing in terms of the "intangibles", those things that make a sporting event "FUN".

Hey Hawthorne (and all you other tracks me 'n McChump #2 visited this year) - get some decent food out there. Make your gift shop worth visiting. Get some more bartenders like Bennie. Get the beer companies to pay for your ample advertising space. You got the best bargains in the business. Now just market the whole entertainment package like the Blackhawks do.

Mosey on back to the McChump Tour main page or the 1995 Tour