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Local Racing Fees

Local Racing Fees

Old 08-21-2007, 01:42 PM
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[QUOTE=McSmooth;3601306]Thought it was time to make this topic a thread.

What do you think is reasonable for local/club racing fees? With the recent closing of several tracks, I believe it's time to discuss this....

Do you still think $10 is fair? How about $15? $20?


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I'd be willing to charge $10-$15 for club races and $20-$30 for trophy races if that's what it took. Fortunately so far we can afford to have the cheapest racing around. But it beats keep a local track open rather than spend $35 to $75 in gas to drive to Dayton, Cleveland, Frederick, or even (cough, gasp, hack, cough) Beaver PA. Actually I'd love to race Beaver pretty often if it wasn't Sundays only. As it is, I pay $5 1st, $3 2nd entry club races, $10/5 trophy days, so cheap it's almost couch change.

But that's a guy spending thousands on the hobby. By contrast, 50% or more of our drivers are new and local. Many race cheap used stuff, like my old cars, batteries and chargers I sold cheap to get new people in. Many people scrape by and barely afford the hobby as is, so it's nice, if we can swing it, to keep things cheap.

Bottom line, if you only have a dozen solid regular racing and traveling drivers, you may have to pay $20 each a week to keep the place open. Whereas if you have 20-30 racers you can charge 1/3 to 1/2 that. If you are able to get a local govt type group or even local businesses to give you rent free summertime on the asphalt then you can put a summer track down and you can save $$$ to hopefully subsidize carpet racing rental fees. Works in some places, WV, Dayton.... Jackson NJ has the asphalt thing going really well, and maybe they'll build up the carpet thing someday soon too, if they don't just roof over the place.
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:44 PM
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Price of gas has a lot to do with it as well. I was willing to drive 60 miles one way to a track back when it was $1.10 a gallon, now that it's around $3 I just can't afford it anymore. It used to be $8 round trip, now it's $20, no couple that with raising track fees, tires, parts... it's turning into an expensive hobby. In one month you spend more in gas and fees and parts than you do for a good car setup. And to top it all off, here in GA, hobby shops are dying off right and left. My nearest hobby shop just started carrying vehicle parts, they used to be airplane stuff only. The next nearest LHS (which is the only good one) is 60 miles in the opposite direction of the nearest on road track. I've started drag racing because there is a local track, and it's closer to the hobby shop. It's not that I wouldn't want to race oval, but It's cheaper and easier to drag race.
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:55 PM
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Race Fees…..Me personally I don’t see an issue with going to 20 dollars for 3 qualifiers and a main. I think that the little kids or kids that are in high school or lower should pay less as most times they don’t have a job and parents might be reluctant to give up that extra money.

Not to get side tracked here but from what I have seen over the past few years in the electric indoor track scene around here, is that on the local level extremely fast/sponsored racers racing stock have just plain crushed newbies into not wanting to come out any more. I have seen tracks that have a great group of local novice or lesser experienced racers close up as soon as the track has an influx of fast/sponsored racers show up. What I have seen each time is faster racers just put about 3 to 5 laps on these guys and then these local racers who have and are supporting this track and hobby shop are now feeling dejected and just plan don’t show up anymore. Who wants to show up and race as a newbie and know that some guy is just going to beat them like a red headed step child….not many people that are new to the hobby do. What I feel race tracks/hobby shops need to do to stay around longer is don’t cater to these faster/sponsored racers because at the same time these guys are not buying anything in the hobby shop anyway, but they need to have a separate class for them or make them run something else at the local level. This is just what I have seen take place over the last few years with about 4 or 5 local tracks that have closed up. There needs to be a new class for these guys at the local level and I feel this will help keep the doors to more tracks/hobby shops open.

Last edited by Kevin K; 08-21-2007 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:06 PM
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Yes, I know how easy it is to get sidetracked on these forums. I often like to poke fun at such things.

I know the cost of racing is an issue.

I know fast guys scaring newbies is an issue. (How many "pros in stock" threads have we seen?)

I know the tracks not allowing rubber/brushless/lipo/whatever is an issue.

Those are all good topics, and have been discussed on RCTech many times. I'm just trying to isolate the entry fees issue by itself.

My point being, if your track asks for an extra $5 to stay open, don't turn your back on them...thinking that they're greedy. Especially if you've been getting away with racing for just $10 or $15 up until now. Even at $20 for a full-service indoor track is a great deal if you take a minute to think about what you're getting. Ask some of those guys that have just lost their track if they'd like to have it back for an extra $5 per race. Gas prices become a bigger issue if your "local" track is now an additional 60 miles (or more) away.

Some tracks and clubs have low overhead...and that's great. Not everyone has such a place nearby, though.
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:09 PM
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Club is owned and operated by its members for the last 20years, has underwent various names changes and locations. Heck its all volunteer run so thats what happens. We started out racing fall to spring only on every second Sunday. We rented halls in local College and in vacant retail stores for years. Every Sunday started off at 7am unloading carpet and boards to setup a temporary carpet track for the day.... I recall paying 5$-7$ and then 10$ to race. Fair prices enough to cover costs.

Fast forward to 3-4 years ago the club was huge and temporary accommodations where not working out. 12+hour race days was hurting. We found an indoor location to lease. We set our race fees at a level just high enough to cover costs of lease,heat and hydro:

WE offer 3 ways to race:

Option #1 (Monthly Membership)
• One time fee of $600 Cash or Cheque
• or 12 postdated cheques of $50 (Preferred)
-unlimited access to track

Option #2 (Pay as you Go Membership)
• $60 dollars a year payable on January 1st of each year
o Sunday Race $25 First Class / $15 Second Class / $0 Third Class
o Evening Race $15 First Class / $10 Second Class / $0 Third Class
o Practice $10 per evening
o Micro Racing $15 per evening

Option #3 (Non-Member)
o Sunday Race $30 First Class / $20 Second Class / $10 Third Class
o Evening Race $20 First Class / $15 Second Class / $5 Third Class
o Practice $15 per evening

Our fees are there to cover costs. We don't have a hobby shop paying rent. Other ways we generate funds to pay the bills:
-monthly poker tournament (its legal don't worry)

Our major issue is come summer many racers do offroad, and nitro onroad. This takes away from the club for about 4 months. So alot of our current race fees has built in buffer to help cover the months where there is no racing. IF everyone took the first option it would not be an issue, but the pay as you go crowd are the majority, which means very little money comes in for the summer months..

Running a club that races is a tuff job, my advice always help out when u can at the track, so many assume its easy work and the track will stay open for ever. IT takes participation and volunteers to keep it running.

Our indoor track consists of:
-micro track ozite
-pit area with power
-10th track 90x45ft ozite
-AMB scoring(club owned)
-PA system
-Tech room
-Race director area
-website and forum
-Onsite computer with RC programs

Last edited by Joel Lagace; 08-21-2007 at 02:13 PM. Reason: info
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Old 08-21-2007, 03:26 PM
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Remember, the outdoor parking lot track doesn't have all the overhead.
I'm in the process of REVAMPING a local racing program here in Calif.

Dealing w/ PROPERTY Owners is a P.I.T.A. and everybody wants $$$ for everything.

The last group stopped the program because it was costing an estimated $400.00+ per day to hold local racing. With only 15-20 racers it was nearly impossible to do the program w/o losing money...and NOBODY wants to LOSE money putting on races...AND do all the work involved in LOSING that money.

We are simply looking at doing 'parking lot' racing on a HIGH SCHOOL right at the moment. We have to provide the School District with a 2 MILLION dollar liability policy plus they want $150 - $200 per day for the use permit.

We are seeking local companies to work with in their community support programs, so far we do have the local McDonald's owner involved and that will help us, where others have failed.
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Old 08-21-2007, 03:46 PM
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I think you have to look at the area where the track is, too. If you are in a major metro area (NY/NJ, Chicago, So Cal,etc) you can sustain $20 for race fees. If the area has people losing jobs, or is just a lower cost area, $20 might seem out of line.

Granted, for what may be 12 hrs. at the track, with automatic scoring, indoors, practice, 3 heats + a main, $20 sounds like a bargain compared to movies, or some other type of entertainment.
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Old 08-21-2007, 05:28 PM
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I wouldnt have a problem with a reasonable increase so long as it doesnt effect turnout because turnout is far more important than race fees.

Assume you have 2 tracks that are of similar size and provide similar amenities. An extra 25 entrants can be what makes difference between just barely keeping the doors open and being able to make improvements.

For example, a track averaging 25 weekly entries paying a $20 entry fee equals a yearly income of $26,000 compared to a track averaging 50 entries a week with a $15 entry fee equals a yearly income of $36,000.

Supply and demand still applies to something as screwed up as racing RC vehicles.
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Old 08-21-2007, 05:32 PM
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Redneck RC is currently charging $5 per class for weekly club racing. In the winter, they run dirt oval only and averaged approx 58 racers a week. Several racers voiced their opinion and suggested raising the race fees to $8 or $10 and providing cable so that NFL/NHL/NBA/NCAA/Nascar could be watched in between qualifiers.
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:17 PM
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I personally am brand new to the hobby, in fact I just got my car via UPS today I haven't even had the chance to really look at it. I managed to only spend 330 bucks on my car (T2 with gtb 5.5 brushless and then some older electronics that I'll probably replace) I figure I'll dump another 200-300 at least to get the car even up and running properly. First off, it is hard getting into this hobby just because of the huge upfront costs, shoot saltwater tanks can be cheaper, but not the point of the topic really. The one track we have here is outdoor which is fine by me as I live in florida no need for an indoor except it would be nice in the summer. Given that I already dished out 600 bucks really 15 a race isn't so bad but like everyone said another 30-50 for tires ect ect and you are really spending 65 75 which I personally at this point in time, keep in mind i have haven't even tested the car out, would probably only be willing/able to afford to do once a month, lucky for me the race here only runs once a month. But for someone really dedicated to the hobby yeah I can see 15 a race not being to bad, I wouldn't like to see it going any higher than that for an outdoor though. Just a thought, why not a yearly membership? Or selling Soda/water, I know as hot as it is out here in the summer a bottle of water would definately be welcome. It just seems to me that there are better ways to get the money out of those who are willing to pay more other than jacking up the fees and detouring the new people any more than they already are by the high costs of the hobby.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:15 PM
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What I know is

I have a AWSOME race facility, I pay 20 bucks, and that is with a hobby shop that ALWAYS stocks EVERY part for the mian cars (xrays, HB, Schumacher) pit tables, electricity, air compressor, AMB lap counter

20 bucks isnt a bad price IMO to race, Its fun to do, and keeps me out of trouble lol
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by JFCJ View Post
WRONG! It was a $12 race fee. The re-constructed pool table smooth track surface, the additional 60 pit spaces, the additional monitors, the free use of tire truers, and the new scoring software WAS well worth the piddly $3 increase per race.
This is true..... Good point.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by BlackedOutREVO View Post
What I know is

I have a AWSOME race facility, I pay 20 bucks, and that is with a hobby shop that ALWAYS stocks EVERY part for the mian cars (xrays, HB, Schumacher) pit tables, electricity, air compressor, AMB lap counter

20 bucks isnt a bad price IMO to race, Its fun to do, and keeps me out of trouble lol
Our tracks haven't hit that rate yet but when you figure around here you get to practice and race 12 or 13 hours thats a bargain. At the dirt track we run from 11:00 or 12:OO to midnight or later. And at the indoor track from 12:00 to 10:00 or 11:00. Thats like 2.00 per hour. Not bad.
Things have changed over the years. We should expect to pay a little more even if we don't like it.

Last edited by UN4RACING; 08-21-2007 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by UN4RACING View Post
Thongs have changed over the years. We should expect to pay a little more even if we don't like it.
I just had to quote this before you edited it.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:34 PM
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All thongs aside, I'd throw down $20 to race. Heck, I'd even throw down $50 if it guaranteed having a good turnout every time I showed up to race, but it doesn't really matter what junkies like me would pay. It's all about the next generation of racers. That's all I can say without going off-topic...

Last edited by Leodis; 08-21-2007 at 10:10 PM. Reason: (Added New Sig)
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