Costs to race

Discussions on race planning, preparations and how to run a "fair" and fun race.
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goldrush
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Costs to race

Post by goldrush » Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:09 pm

We just had our 2nd annual district rally.

I am just going through some Questionares we circulated. We charged $5 per car entry fee, which most groups paid for their kids.

A few of the papers came back with negative feedback on the cost of racing.

We also had a concession which one of the Venturer groups did for a fundraiser for their trip this summer. They charged $5 for Burger, chips and a glass of pop.

I was just wondering what costs happen to be for other races?



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Stan Pope
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Re: Costs to race

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:07 pm

Cost must "seem reasonable." as compared to factors such as the preceived facility cost, trophy cost, insurance cost, etc. And those factors should be in line with the event requirements and status. Per scout cost for a district derby need not be a lot higher than for a unit derby although you probably have patches, event insurance, and maybe a facility rental to cover.

One of the best facilities we have ever used for our derby was a large gymnasium that covered 3 standard basketball courts surrounded by a 6-lane running track. Lots of room for racing! We had 4 age groups running at one time with bleacher seating for parents. Sadly, the rental cost gradually creeped up above $300 (> $1 per registrant) and we no longer use the facilitiy. (On the flip side, running 15th Burlington System has changed our facility requirements to the point that the large facility is no longer necessary... about 9 hours in a common school gymnasium is sufficient, and we can almost always get those for free!!!)

Individual factor costs should be well balanced. Expensive 18" to 24" trophies, for instance, would be out of line with other costs and values.

Cost must also seem reasonable as compared to the experience that the Scouts have in participating. A double elimination competition would be perceived as a less valuable experience that 8 timed runs per competitor. An event in which the Scouts handled their own cars would be perceived as more valuable than an event in which the Scouts watched track staff race the cars. An event which is run efficiently would be perceived as more valuable than one in which everyone sits waiting for something to happen. And an event in which Scouts wait a long time between their turns to race would be perceived as less valuable than one in which the wait time between races is short.

If you are giving good value then the $5 per Scout probably seems quite reasonable to most of the families, and few would include the cost in their decision to participate or not.

As to the costs for food provided as a fund raiser for some group ... if the costs are in line with the local fast food outlets, and you don't prevent brown-bagging for those on a more limited budget, then I think you are on firm ground.


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FatSebastian
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Re: Costs to race

Post by FatSebastian » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:13 pm

goldrush wrote:We charged $5 per car entry fee, which most groups paid for their kids.
I like what Stan said; the cost should be commensurate with the expenses and the value of the experience. I might add that an entry fee of $5 seems (to me) to be at the upper level of what I think most would find acceptable. That price has the benefit of being a nice value of divisible unit of currency.
goldrush wrote:They charged $5 for Burger, chips and a glass of pop.
As this is an optional expense, I don't think the Crew can be slighted for what they charged. However, if that was the only menu option I wonder if they might have had more success selling items that weren't "bundled". Specifically, it helps to include individual menu items that a little kid can pay for himself (i.e., prices requiring little currency math and low probability of change) and that he can carry away and eat with one hand.

If one is responsible for a group or large family, often "value meals" for everyone isn't always cost effective; even when it is affordable some people may not want to buy that much food. The availability of $1 hot dogs and/or half-dollar giant pretzels often drives up concession activity as fast as anything; what may be lost in per-item profit is more than made up in volume. (FWIW, IMO corn dogs may be especially appealing as a concession-stand item; they are easy to hold and not too messy, most kids like them, and it is attractive as a novelty.)
:2cents:



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Darin McGrew
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Re: Costs to race

Post by Darin McGrew » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:41 pm

We charge $10 per car, but that includes the kits and all the workshop supplies, in addition to the awards and other expenses. Plus we offer scholarships to any families who can't afford the charge.

I'll echo Stan's comments about limiting trophy expenses and maximizing the races for each entrant.

One thing I've noticed with my wife's fundraising is that people will buy a $1 bar of chocolate without complaining, and without even thinking much about it. But people will think a lot more about spending $2 for a bar of chocolate or $5 for a box of chocolate, even if the price per ounce is the same.

Also, bundling the burger with the chips and soda will reduce its perceived value to those who don't want the chips/soda. For example, my wife and I may want 2 burgers, but only 1 soda (for me) and 1 bag of chips (to share).



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Stan Pope
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Re: Costs to race

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:20 am

Sorry, I didn't answer your main question: How much is our district race registration? Short answer is "I don't know!" I do know from preparing district event budgets that the $ add up a lot faster than the newbee chairman expects. Our goal is to avoid losing $ on each event, and as a result some events, like PWD, take in a bit more than they spend.

I can tell you that in the timeframe of 1990, the cost was about $5/Scout, and around 2000 was about $8/Scout. So, your $5 in 2012 seems very reasonable.

BTW, our concession stands are usually operated by the PTA of the school that is donating the use of their gymnasium. Seems an advantageous trade to me. As a "thank you" to them, I "tossed back" the change from a five.


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Stan Pope
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Re: Costs to race

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:25 am

Darin McGrew wrote: One thing I've noticed with my wife's fundraising is that people will buy a $1 bar of chocolate without complaining, and without even thinking much about it. But people will think a lot more about spending $2 for a bar of chocolate or $5 for a box of chocolate, even if the price per ounce is the same.
But watch out if the price per ounce gets lower as the the bar size gets larger ... I'm getting fat because of the economy of scale!


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Re: Costs to race

Post by macd » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:14 pm

Our district charges $15 per pack, which covers up to 20 qualifying scouts.
We had 19 packs sign-up this year, with varying participation.

I don't know what our costs are. The event is staffed by volunteers. I don't know if the venue (center court at a local shopping mall) is free or not.

I see the point of some of your scout parents. "Congratulations, your scout won the pack race. That will be five dollars, please.".



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Stan Pope
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Re: Costs to race

Post by Stan Pope » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:25 am

macd wrote:Our district charges $15 per pack, which covers up to 20 qualifying scouts.
We had 19 packs sign-up this year, with varying participation.

I don't know what our costs are. The event is staffed by volunteers. I don't know if the venue (center court at a local shopping mall) is free or not.

I see the point of some of your scout parents. "Congratulations, your scout won the pack race. That will be five dollars, please.".
Since our boys "represent their packs", our packs pick up registration from their money earning projects.

$15 for 20 Scouts barely covers patches and insurance and, maybe, Scout office processing costs.

Since PWD day may well be the high traffic day of the year for that mall, the mall probably donates the space and just might pay for the trophies.

I don't care for malls myself, because the audience is usually standing and visibility is poor. OTOH, the parking is usually exquisite!


Stan
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Re: Costs to race

Post by goldrush » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:28 am

First I should mention, these are all kids from each pack/troop, not just the top winners. Potential number of racers could be as high as 250.

Our hall was as close to centrally located in the area (150 miles wide x 50 miles)as possible (equally inconvenient for all :scratching: ). The hall was half of the rental cost of the one we used last year ($500 this year).

Our rough costs were $1200 (Hall rental, badges, take home trophies, Group photos for the Sponsors and supporters) so in essence we have $400 towards next years event. Which means the hall deposit and badges, don't need to pay out of pocket for them.

I believe they sold lunch items individually (I was race director and never made it to the kitchen until close to the end), and they did have hot dogs available. Families were also informed it was fine to bring their own "picnic lunch" if they desired.

We had a few comments about the hall being almost too small, and they were right. We had a 5 lane plastic Derby Magic with electronics, a 6 lane aluminium Best Track with electronics set up for the timed finals. we also had 4 old school homemade 3 lane and 1 plastic 3 lane Derby Magic for the "bubble sort) racing in the morning. That many tracks filled the hardwood dance floor from side to side.

The only larger venue I can see in all our towns/cities, would be an arena, and they still have ice in them in March. moving the event to April would then start to conflict with soccer and baseball, so we are avoiding that.



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Re: Costs to race

Post by goldrush » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:42 am

Darin McGrew wrote:We charge $10 per car, but that includes the kits and all the workshop supplies, in addition to the awards and other expenses.
All our groups buy the kids kits too ( Kub Kars are $3.95 and the Scout Trucks are $14.95 I think), so the $5.00 fee (and sponsors entry fees groups tried to get involved in the sponsors race) covers Hall rental (Scouts Canada Insurance covers the event....no extra needed), Trophies (take home only, 24" travelling trophies paid for/donated last year), badges and other misc (race decorations which will be used for future events), name tags etc.

The Sponsor Idea was to get local businesses involved, by building and racing (Kar entry $50 and trucks $100) to help keep the cost to kids lower. we only had 1 truck and 3 or 4 cars last year, but 4 trucks and the same number (3 or 4) cars this year.

I believe all the groups paid for their own kids entry, so Parents are only out of pocket for the lunch.



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Stan Pope
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Re: Costs to race

Post by Stan Pope » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:46 am

It sounds like you are doing your budgetting job well... actual costs are distributed equitably among the participants and ending up with $ IN greater than $ OUT by only a small percentage.

The other side of the equation, then, is "perceived value." What can you do to increase the value that Scouts and parents feel?

1, My personal prejudice is to involve the Scouts more thoroughly in the competition. I infer from the web page that the Scouts watch the racing rather than doing the racing. I think that with only 250-350 Scouts to serve, you could have them doing the racing and still complete the event in 8 or 9 hours.

2. Are there other Kub Kar related activities that you could run "on the side" to occupy their time when they are not registering/inspecting/competing that would add value? In the school that we have used the past couple of years there is a nice hallway that gets lined on one side with displays and concessions. We have room for more, if we can find Scouters who have something worthy to present or activities to manage. One I'm trying to get organized is a "Straightest Run" ramp on which Scouts can run ther cars before or after racing with competition measured by how close they come to the center mark at the end of the ramp. (Ramp is 16' to 24' long, 18" wide, side rails, gentle incline, and calibrated stop pad. Operator posts "Best Runs".)


Stan
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