Costs to put on an Industrial Park Criterium


Costs to put on an Industrial Park Criterium

by Sean Burke


My primary area of expertise is as a coach. But once a year, I put on a different hat and play race promoter.   The 2013 Spy Red Trolley Classic is scheduled for  February  3rd, and this will be the tenth annual running of the event.    Costs have gone up substantially over those 10 years, so several years ago I began sharing what it costs to put on an industrial park criterium. Most riders were shocked to find out how much it really costs to put on one of these events, and realized that race promoters aren’t lining their pockets with money.   In reality, many promoters  are probably struggling to break even, and sweating over a possible loss until the day of the race.   A version of the following originally appeared on the Crank Cycling Blog in February 2012:


In 2010, I wrote about  how  it costs, $10,000 to put on a relatively small, simple, industrial park criterium.  In 2011, I wrote about why it costs $11,000  to put on an  industrial park criterium and  now  I am  writing about how it costs ~$13,500 to put on an  industrial park criterium.      When this race first started in 2003, costs were around $8K, so costs have gone up by around 70% in the last 9 years.   That is why we unfortunately had to raise entry fees by a few bucks this year.  It is also why we are limited to categories that can fill.  We run collegiate categories all morning and because of the smaller field sizes as well as   the reduced collegiate entry fees, we are essentially losing money all morning.   One way to look at it is that it costs around $1300 an hour to hold the event, and then then we have to do our best to get that back via race entries and limited sponsorship.     The race promoter risks significant capitol and if the weather is great,  it  all comes back with   a  little  bit of profit   for all the time, expense, and risk.   If the weather doesn’t cooperate and it rains all day ( as in 2008), The race promoter could lose several thousand dollars and has the privilege of standing outside in the rain all day.



While promoting a race is a lot of work, I’m always thankful for all the racers and all of the volunteers.    The UAC   Head official Greg Aden is an easy guy to work with and his crew did a great job.   I would especially like to thank Spy for steeping forward as title sponsor for the event.


Want to know the cost breakdown?   Here it is highest expense first, some  are rounded to the nearest hundred, and a few are estimated.

Prize money: $2500

USAC Insurance: $1924

USAC Officials: $1830

Traffic Control required by City of SD:  $1800

Ambulance Required by City of SD: $1650

Announcer Ralph Elliot ~ $1000 and worth every penny

Toilets:  $525

Safety Equip: $500

Race numbers and supplies: $300

USAC Permit Fee $225

Other supplies: $200

Food  for officials and race crew $160

Kinkos: $130

City Permit Fee $100


See the 2010 posts for why some of the expenses are so high, and why it is difficult to reduce them.  The costs that have gone up the most  in recent years: Traffic control has gone up by $1500, and USAC  insurance has tripled in cost over the  last 10 years or so.   Those are the expenses that have gone up the most.   The others have all slowly creeped up and brought us from the $8K mark, to near $14K.








  1. Tad Cheswick says

    If you’re really paying your race announcer about $1,000, I have to wonder what else you’re seriously overpaying for on this list. No race announcer is worth that much.

  2. says

    For traffic control you should request the Police Dept to use Explorers instead of all sworn officers. Explorers are volunteer personel and the city will provide their service for free or a very low cost.

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