Every sports sanctioning body in the world features at least one suitusually in either in marketing or saleswho recites the mantra, "We've got to get more young fans!" ad nauseum.
It's a fact: No sport wants a graying fan base. Fresh blood means a new infusion of cash that will last at least two generations. Every sports entity is trying to eat the biggest slice of the coveted 18-to-34-year-old demographic.
The NFL does it. So does the NBA. NHL. Major League Baseball. NASCAR. Formula One. European domestic soccer leagues. And MotoGP is no different.
So the question begs to be asked: Why does Dorna continue to keep four MotoGP races in Spain, a country in which the overall unemployment rate is 26 percent but where the jobless rate skyrockets to a staggering 55 percent for those under age 25?
A huge caste of Spanish kids are still living in virtual poverty with their parents, many of whom also are struggling. This lost generation barely has enough money to survive, so it sure as hell can't drop 100 or more euros to watch a Grand Prix race in person. They also don't have money to buy new motorcycles, and marketing is one of the key reasons manufacturers get involved in racing.
Yet speculation persists that all four Spanish racesat Jerez, Barcelona, Aragon and Valenciaonce again will appear on the 2014 schedule, which will grow to 19 races with the addition of a round in Argentina.
It's madness, especially when Southeast Asia is a booming market for motorcycles and Yamaha, Honda and Ducati are all but begging for Dorna to add another race there.
Maybe Dorna is staying loyal to its Spanish roots. Maybe it has noticedlike the rest of the worldthat the Spanish national anthem has become the Official Theme Song of the Podium(tm) this year in all three World Championship classes, knowing that nationalism sells tickets even when money is tight.
But none of that will put butts in Spanish seats if one-quarter of every able-bodied person continues to have no job and more than half of the young people stay out of work. The evidence of the Iberian economic meltdown is as obvious as the sparks shooting from the titanium skid pucks on Marc Marquez's elbows in a corner, as the swaths of empty seats at Jerez and Barcelona are conspicuous.
Dorna numberswhich people rely on to be accurate showed larger three-day attendances at Jerez and Barcelona this year than in 2012. But this year's three-day crowd at Jerez still was the second-smallest since 2004.
Spain still pulsates with passion for MotoGP. And the emergence of Marquez as the sport's newest superstar will further cement the nation's monopoly atop the premier class, as it's almost certain that Spaniards Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa will occupy the top three spots in the championship this season barring further missed races due to injury.
Still, keeping four races in such an economically depressed nation is a questionable strategy, at best. This is a World Championship, not the CEV.
Bernie Ecclestone saw the red ink on the walls in Europe long before other motorsports bosses, as he started pulling Formula One races from their traditional European heartland in the late 1990s and throughout the 2000s and moving them to far-flung, prospering places like Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, South Korea, China and Singapore.
Meanwhile, MotoGP has one race in Southeast Asia, in Malaysia, and one in the oil-rich Middle East, in Qatar. Yet it continues to stage four races in Spain, a nation where the economy contracted 1.4 percent in 2012.
Dorna can take heart that it's not the only sport with a warped view of Spain's economic plight. The top two teams in La Liga, Spain's premier domestic soccer league, pay exorbitant fees to lure top worldwide players and pay them massive wages.
Real Madrid recently paid 100 million euros to lure Gareth Bale from the English Premier League, and the club will reportedly pay Bale 300,000 pounds per week.
That's money that would make even Valentino Rossi's eyes water.