Chicago Stadium, Chicago, IL, Nov 16

Hawthorne Racecourse, Cicero, IL, Nov 18

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
Food: Big greasy Polish: $3.00 Big greasy pizza: $4.50

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

  United Center Hawthorne
Traffic on the way: 60 (rush hour) 35 (construction)
Track cafe: -0 80 (Sportsman's0
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
Quite zaftig older exotic dancers 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.