Middle East Fans Love Monster Jam

By Scott Douglass
May 14, 2013

As the groundbreaking Monster Jam® experience concluded in Abu Dhabi last weekend any doubts that Monster Jam has become global have to be gone. Tens of thousands of roaring fans in the United Arab Emirates proved clearly the universal appeal of the sport, these incredible machines and the amazingly talented people who both drive and work on Monster Jam trucks.

Walking through the Party in the Pits the comment heard most often was "Thank You". Those who came to the event were not just Abu Dhabi residents as many came from populous Dubai, about an hour's drive away and from across the UAE, but whatever part of this beautiful country they call home it was that same appreciative sentiment. The fans could not thank the drivers enough for coming half way around the world to compete live in that part of the world for the first time and the drivers were quick to say "Thank You" themselves in appreciation for the incredible fan turnout for this milestone event.

After the exciting race bracket and thrilling freestyle competitions were in the book Carl Van Horn was as pumped up as ever, the team Grave Digger driver basking in both the standing ovation he was getting from the fans in Abu Dhabi while at the same time enjoying a moment of history as the sport had come to a part of the world where it had never been before live and CVH had come out on top of a line-up loaded with the best of the best to give Grave Digger a Double Down triumph.

Thanks to the high tech world that includes monsterjam.com, social media, and You Tube along with the expanding footprint of Monster Jam television it was clear that many fans in attendance already knew the sport and the trucks.  Across the board though whether it was a fan new to Monster Jam or those who have followed the sport through the media Grave Digger strengthened its massive fan base thanks to Van Horn and his team's domination in Abu Dhabi.

Across the board the drivers who had the honor of introducing Monster Jam to this part of the world rose to the occasion both in showing their appreciation to these new fans as they interacted with them and in turning in top level performances on the track. Maybe the best example was Becky McDonough. The El Toro Loco driver and her yellow crazy bull were fan favorites from the start and she responded to all the love she received from the fans in Abu Dhabi by returning that love and appreciation to them during those one on one interactions both before and after the event as well as with the on track performance where Becky gave those fans, in my opinion, her best stadium freestyle performance since she joined the El Toro Loco team.

The action start to finish and the incredible response from so many fans seeing Monster Jam live for the first time makes everyone who was there believe that this is just the beginning, that this region should see more Monster Jam events live in future years.

Regarding the excitement locally it is worth noting that Abu Dhabi Sports Television was on hand to record all the action for broadcast throughout the UAE. While it was the Abu Dhabi Sports TV team that worked the cameras, editing, etc. they enlisted the help of Mike McFarlin, who produces Monster Jam on Speed and Mike's guidance means Arabic television is getting a Monster Jan TV broadcast that looks strikingly similar to the shows fans love on Speed and CBS. Abu Dhabi Sports Television decided to have the broadcast voiced mostly in English, so yes, it was my tremendous honor to host the broadcast along with an Arabic pit reporter. The debut of the television broadcast of the historic Monster Jam debut in the Middle East will air on Abu Dhabi Sports Television this Friday night, May 17, at 10:00 p.m. Abu Dhabi time.

Monster Jam was born in the United States and the sport is proud to still call the USA home. But make no mistake about it, Monster Jam is now an unquestioned worldwide phenomenon. And maybe the most exciting part is that we have barely scratched the surface of where the sport will continue to grow in the years to come.

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