It’s no secret, the cost of living is on the rise. We see it every day, should it be a pint of milk, a bread loaf, or the weekly shop, almost everything is on the rise.
Cycling hasn’t escaped the trend either; how much did you say those top-end carbon soled race shoes were?! As cycle event promoters, we try to keep the cost of events for participants as low as we can. Our very existence is to promote and encourage people in and into the sport. As with most things however, the cost of promoting events has increased. Whether it be the weekly club league race, national level one day event, or full international stage race, promoters are facing additional cost.
Event sponsors can go a long way in helping reduce costs and ease the financial burden, but many local companies and firms are also feeling the squeeze of rising costs and marketing budgets are understandably tighter, so sourcing a generous sponsor is all the more difficult in recent years. The event entry fee is most often the biggest revenue generator for Event Organisers. That’s unlikely to change any day soon and will keep the races on the road albeit assuming we actually get enough entries.
At Banbridge CC we enjoy promoting several events every year. We’ve made little secret of the fact we run them as a programme of events – if we looked at each event independently, several races wouldn’t be financially viable and would soon disappear from the calendar. Event entry for the 2023 Noel Teggart Memorial is currently open, and this year we’ve had to increase the fee slightly by £2, up to £20 per ticket. Some have commented on the increase in event entry costs, so we thought we’d look under the cover of that.
The Noel Teggart Memorial could be considered our ‘Goldilocks’ race. It’s not the cheapest to host, it’s not the most expensive, it sits somewhere in the middle with outgoings of approximately £4,500.
So, how does your £20 race entry break down? We’ve done just that;
Prize Fund: The winner of the Noel Teggart Memorial enjoys a healthy cash prize of £300, and with prizes for the first 8 riders over the line and numerous unplaced prizes it’s easy to see that the prize fund is the biggest expense of the event. Approximately £2k is handed out in envelopes with a congratulatory shake of the hand after the last of the traybakes have magically disappeared. It equates to £8.80 of your ticket.
Traffic Management: There’s never been more traffic on the roads. The less traffic a race meets the better. Banbridge CC recently moved from a traditionally loved circuit to a more rural route to help in this area, but we’ve also taken the additional step of recruiting a traffic management company to implement a one-way traffic system for narrower sectors of the circuit. It’s a positive step forward, but unfortunately also a rising cost year on year. Professional services and overtime for the qualified operative who now has to work on their Sunday afternoon will see off another £4.40 from your ticket.
Insurance: Lead cars, motorbike marshals and race official cars all need to be insured. Indemnity insurance is also often required for many properties race organisers will use for race HQ’s, parking, etc. Nobody likes paying for insurance, but it’s a must and £1.50 of your ticket price will help cover it.
Race Official & Moto/driver expenses: Our sport simply wouldn’t exist without volunteers who give up their time, knowledge, and skills to help run our events. They may volunteer their time for free – and Father’s Day celebrations may see a slight delay! £2.20 of your ticket will help put fuel in their cars, motorbikes and cover any Cycling Ireland race official fees.
Event Medical Cover: Tarmac is hard, and occasionally cyclists may meet it in a fashion they hadn’t planned to when they were playing out the race in their head over their bowl of morning porridge. It’s an unfortunate reality that accidents happen in sport, and a suitably equipped first aid crew is vital to deal with them. They do a fantastic job and if you’re unlucky enough to need their attention, £1.60 of your ticket price might just feel like the bargain of the century.
Event HQ Hire: Parking, changing rooms, a hot shower after your race and kitchen facilities so the organising club can prepare tea, coffee and enough sandwiches and buns to choke an entire field of donkeys. 66 pence and the toilet roll is thrown in gratis.
Equipment Hire: Safety barriers, portaloos, generators, race radios. Unless you’re a building contractor you’re unlikely to have many spare knocking about and we need to hire them for the event. You can never have too many safety barriers, or toilets for that matter. It’ll cost you 44 pence of your ticket price, which is considerably less than the £20 the commissaires will fine you if caught taking a leak in a public area because there wasn’t a portaloo nearby.
Marshal Sustenance: Marshalling can be a thankless task, and if the weather is less than ideal it’s not always the most enjoyable. Giving our marshals a bottle of water and a bag of snacks is the least we can do. We keep it relatively healthy with fresh fruit, muesli bars and cheeky bag of Haribo. The 40 pence of your ticket sale to cover this cost isn’t nearly enough to thank them for their services, so a “thank you” when your race is over and you’re passing them is only polite.
That’s it. That’s where your £20 goes. Profit margin? Usually, zero. Often, negative.
What do you really get for it? Hopefully it all adds up to a safe event that everyone can enjoy. The events don’t organise themselves and there’s considerable hours spent in the background pulling it all together. Again, those hours are all given for free and the benefit of the sport.
So when you sit back on a Sunday evening flicking through the hundreds of photos from the event, which also happen to be taken and freely shared by skilled volunteers who give their time and expense to us all, was it all worth £20? Of course it was! Sign up here.