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Essex speedway stadium to close after 40 years

The operators of the Lakeside Hammers speedway team say this season, their 40th anniversary one, will be their last as their Arena Essex stadium is too expensive to maintain.

In a statement posted on their Facebook page the owners also point to bad weather at the beginning of this season causing revenue issues.

The speedway team competes in the second tier of UK competition.

The site near the Dartford Crossing east of London is now reported to be used for housing.

The full statement reads:

“Our 40th celebration year has been challenging to say the least and with deep sadness we regret to announce it will be our last.

Contending with our great British weather with the first two months of the season seeing both opening events for the Rolling Thunder Show and King of the Ring events being cancelled due to freezing weather conditions and our own season opener being held in minus 11 degrees followed by a cold and miserable Easter weekend didn’t make for a great start to the year.

The Lakeside Hammers on a continuing downward spiral in terms of spectator support as well as having meetings cancelled not just due to weather conditions but ongoing issues with the BSPA to contend with also heavily impacted the Raceway’s income.

The above along with the amount of investment needed to just maintain the stadium plus the continued increasing costs for compliance, insurance and health and safety has led to the Raceway no longer being financially sustainable and therefore with great sadness and a heavy heart we have to advise 2018 will be the last racing season for the Woodroffe family.

The final event to be run bringing Arena Essex Raceway’s gates to a close will be on Sunday 4th November with the 27th Firecracker.

The family would like to thank all those who have supported us over the last 41 years, drivers, spectators, site hirers, sponsors, suppliers, concession holders and not least our hardworking an dedicated Arena Essex Team.

Join us in our final three months in celebration of the last 40 years.”