Horse racing enthusiasts and petrolheads might not share much common ground, but the owners of racecourses and racetracks certainly do.
Both types of business require extensive fixed assets, often extending to hundreds of acres. These sizeable grounds are needed to provide a track of competitive length and challenge, comprehensive multi-storey buildings to house both competitors and their charges, comfortable and well-sited facilities for spectators and hospitality hosts, as well as parking for several thousand people.
But such assets are only used for their principal design purpose a handful of times a year. In order to achieve a year-round income venue-owners must host variety of events, from corporate conferences to family parties.
A hotel, on-site spa and business centre facilities can provide part of the answer, but exhibitions, concerts, local or regional competitions, sales, rallies, merchandising, health and fitness clubs, crèches, and numerous other income-generating ideas have also been tried.
Racetracks have the advantage of a more resilient track surface. Track days, red letter days and driving tuition are all popular and allow regular use with some spin off into catering and accommodation, though noise restrictions can be problematic. Racecourses, on the other hand, are quieter and while the track cannot be used so often in order to safeguard its quality for racing, the surrounding land can provide a home for regular alternative sports – golf is a common addition.
Media rights are an increasingly important income contributor - in the case of horseracing to support the betting industry and TV sport, and for motor racing to provide sponsor returns as well as TV sport.
Overall, as the value of these two assets is based on trade, it is important that any possibility to create revenue is maximised.