So I am running the financials for the 2010 Red Trolley Crit this morning, and I am always amazed at how much it costs to put the race on. Event though I know going into it, and have the previous years financials to use as an estimate, I'm still a bit surprised when I add it up. Wanna know why it costs $10,000 to put on an industrial park crit?
Here it goes:
USAC Insurance fees: $2000
USAC Permit fee: $100
USAC Officials Fees: $1900
Prize Money $1750
SDPD Traffic Control at the Corners: $1300
Race announcer $750
City Permit Fee: $ 100
Race Numbers and Photocopies of waivers: $350
Safety Equpment( barricades, cones, signs) $450
Toilets and handsinks: $300
Garbage and Recycling bins: $300
Pizza, Coffee, and drinks for Volunteers and Officials: $125
The biggest expenses are: Prize money, Ambulance, SDPD Taffic control, USAC Fees, Officials Fees, and Announcer fees.
Our Mens Pro 1,2 race has decent prize money, but the prize money for our other categories is admittedly small. The ambulance is required by the city of San Diego. In some municipalities you might save ~$700 by having an EMT but no ambulance. But you have to have the Ambulance in San Diego, and its probably a good idea anyway. The SDPD traffic control is required by the city. It would be nice to be able to use volunteers, but the city wants to send out their own people. To be honest, its probably better that way anyway. I think you get less BS from drivers when the traffic controlers are wearing a uniform that says "SDPD" on it. the USAC insurance fees are charged per rider. They've gone up by 50% over last year. Officials fees are the single biggest expense. It seems like alot, but you have 8 people working almost a 12 hour day. Some of them are coming from LA, so that may include hotel and/or mileage. All of them are pocketing less than $200 for the day before hotel expenses, so it's not like they are getting rich. Ralph Elliot does and AMAZING job as race announcer and he is well worth it. He actually gives us a deal on the annoucing because he has a soft spot in his heart for the SDSU team. All of the volunteers working at registration are SDSU kids, or riders that have volunteered for a few hours in exchange for a few entries. I also typically trade a few entries for people that bring good primes. We have a few other little things that people do for free that really help, Like Andrew Lee from Adama Ave Bikes working in the wheel pit.
People always say stuff like " Hey, Why don't you get a corprate sponsor or something?" Well that's far easier said than done. Espcecially when we are in recession.
The fact is that we made a little money this year ( split between the SDSU team and myself), but there is always the possibility of losing money. As of wednesday, the prergistration was only at $6,000 dollars. If the weather report had not improved, we may have lost money. A few years ago when it did rain, we only had $500 in day of registration. The SDSU team made a few hundred dollars that year, and I personally walked away empty handed. ( after countless hours of prep work and a 13 hour day in the rain!) It would be a bit easier to make a few bucks, or at least ensure you aren't going to lose money if we only had USCF races. But we do collegiate races all morning, and the collegiate racers only pay $15 each. Most of your costs are fixed costs, so we are essentially losing money all morning long, and trying to make it up in the afternoon. In fact it is always a stressful coming into the race and being concerned that we are going to lose money on the thing, but thanks to the rain staying away for the day, it all worked out.
Many people walked up to me yesterday and told me they thought it was a great race. That is rewarding for sure. Thanks to everyone for coming out, I hope to see you out there again next year.