Race fees

Discussion in 'Ask the Exec!' started by HWY99, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. HWY99

    HWY99 Team Green

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    Questions:
    1. Has the exec done an analysis to determine the average race fees paid?
    2. Would reducing the fee cap significantly reduce club revenue?
    3. Would a reduced flat rate fee negatively impact many racers who typical enter less races?
    4. Would a flat rate fee simplify registration and administration?

    Possible benefits of reduced cap/flat fee:
    - More value for entry and membership fees
    - Might encourage racers to enter more classes
    - Might attract new racers if fees are more inline with track days

    I know this is a catch 22 and more racers is the solution but reducing the fee cap or a flat rate fee should be given serious consideration if likely to benefit the club.

    Approximate cost and income comparison of track days and racing:

    Track day - non racer
    Early registration fee $173.25
    Track time 6 x 15 minute sessions = 90 minutes
    50 track day riders = $8,250*
    90 track day riders = $14,850*
    *Less GST
    Additional paid track staff required for track days

    Hybrid
    Fee $105
    Track time 4 x 20 minute sessions = 80 minutes
    **Track day riders should note this is a screaming deal - lots of track time for your dollar, no gate fee and can watch the racing

    Weekend - Track and Hybrid day
    Fees $278.25
    Track time 170 minutes

    Race fees
    Medical fee $40
    1st trophy class $90
    2nd trophy class $45
    Licence fee averaged over 5 rounds $30
    Gate fee $10
    Total $215
    Practices x 2 = 30 minutes
    Races x 2 = 30 minutes
    Track time 60 minute
    30 racers = $6,450
    50 racers = $10,750
    Hybrid riders could add up to $3,000/day

    Weekend Racing
    Fees $430
    Track time 120 minutes
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
  2. Andrew Marles

    Andrew Marles Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    18
    I ran some numbers before our last round last year. Most of our racers do not hit the $250 cap, maybe 30%. For the remainder, about half race 2 classes or less. Also keep in mind that for the last day we expected (and got) less than 30 racers. So there was not much of a financial hit to lowering the price cap to $175.

    But if you compare that with the August 1 round, which was the *only* race day that made money last year, it would have hurt the club a lot. On August 1 we got a lot more entrants in Superbike and Formula ultra, and those are the people that race a lot of classes and hit the price cap.

    I would suggest that we continue this discussion at the next general meeting. Personally I feel that with the current business model, the club finally has some flexibility to adjust race fees. At the same time though, the club needs to protect its margins because the fixed daily costs are inexorably going up; ie 20% increase in ambulance fees last year.

    And yes, a flat fee would dramatically simplify registration.
     
  3. HWY99

    HWY99 Team Green

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    Were the current race fees revised last season or carried over from 2014 when there weren't other sources of revenue?

    I can see how the club needs to charge members more to race with less racers and increased costs. Unfortunately the high cost of racing is likely counter productive in retaining existing racers and attracting new racers. Based on my approximate numbers racers pay 20-30% more for 30% less track time compared to track days. Maintaining margins may be a necessary evil but reducing the cost to racers should be a priority.
     
  4. Andrew Marles

    Andrew Marles Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    18
    Race fees in 2015 were essentially unchanged from 2014. There were some adjustments to some classes since the number of laps was changed. At the start of the year we had no idea if the race school and trackdays would be a success.

    Totally agree with you Steve, racing costs a lot and it would help to bring the price in line with trackdays.

    The $175 price cap was an experiment. I'm not sure we could really judge if it was a success or a failure since the weather was pretty bad. But at the same time, it's not like it brought dozens of racers out of the woodwork. Probably it was more popular than double points...
     
  5. HWY99

    HWY99 Team Green

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last season was well thought out and proved very successful with help from those involved and the weather gods.
    Starting 2016 with a proven business model and more than $20,000 in the bank we should be cautiously optimist having sufficient rain insurance. The first race school should be full and most of the program development is done which will hopeful make this season less of a job for the exec. Not doing the bike show should add to the club's bottom line unless the funds have been reallocated to other promotions.

    Regarding race fees:
    Say 10 racers hit the fee cap of $250 last August based on 9 Superbike and Formula Ultra entries.
    A fee cap of $175 would have been $750 less revenue for the club.
    Deleting the September race day probably saves the club about $4,000.
    The September savings could be used to reduce racer fees to a $175 fee cap/flat rate.

    The exec needs to crunch the numbers and figure out the priorities - I know the school needs gopro cameras/monitors etc. and it's very important to have cash for rain insurance. It's also hard to know what effect a lower fee cap would have without giving it a decent try (last September doesn't count because free racing probably wouldn't have worked). I think if the club has the funds it makes sense to pass the savings on to the racers. At the very least racers will probably enter more races/classes which will make the racing more fun. Really need to survey the membership or have them chime in on this with their thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
  6. Brett

    Brett Twin Brothers Racing WMRC Exec

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    2
    1. Yes, in late 2015 as Andrew mentioned.
    2. Yes, potentially. Is lack of participation as result of fees? How many more racers will be return with lower fees? Will they hit this cap?
    3. Yes, my understanding is a flat fee could increase costs for racers who do not already hit the cap.
    4. Dear jeebus yes. A thousand times yes.

    I'm not in anyway opposed to lower fees for racers. I believe that a) we are not yet in a comfortable stable position b) we aren't rich c) costs are high.
    If we can, we will.

    Honestly, I feel this year may be a bigger test than last. We had one round with rain last year and it was in September.
    Let's aim for no rain in 2016?
     
  7. Andrew Marles

    Andrew Marles Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    18
    I will also say that if you look at racing as simply track time, it will always cost more per minute than trackdays. It's a quality/quantity thing. I am pretty sure that Spero has a speech about it somewhere.
     
  8. HWY99

    HWY99 Team Green

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    Having spent countless hours promoting racing with the WMRC last season I know cost is the main reason most people don't race. The general thinking is racing is too expensive compared to track days. Also, racing is really competitive as demonstrated by the lengthy forum discussion on Middleweight Twins. Even the risk of crashing and getting injured seems less of an issue.

    For the few people who are interested in racing the cost of a dedicated track bike and auxiliary equipment is the first deal breaker. The cost of race fees is secondary but also a major factor in deterring would-be racers. The quality/quantity argument is valid but people are pretty savvy these days and want the best value for their dollar. Hence the many track day riders and low racer conversion/retention rate of race school students.

    A fee cap of $175 is the low end entry cost for 2 trophy classes. Are there lots of racers registering for only 1 class? If my numbers are somewhat correct the $250 fee cap doesn't provide much additional revenue. A lower fee cap would encourage racers to enter more classes at no additional cost - it's not like our grids are overflowing. The question is would a lower fee cap generate more revenue overall because racers are getting a better deal?

    I'm really surprised more members haven't commented on this thread. Maybe race fees are not an issue for those accustomed to the cost of racing.

    Brett, I doubt this season could be more challenging than last season unless all the dates are rained out and the racer attrition rate is higher. These are unknowns but hopefully the greater exposure of running a school and track days will generate more participation and business.
     
  9. Jaybo

    Jaybo if you want blood WMRC President

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Messages:
    378
    Likes Received:
    3
    So how much are you willing to gamble? me, i'm conservative in my thinking. Some members at large obviously aren't. Encouragement to lower fees, Encouragement to host events that are proven to lose money, unhappy with running track days and schools. So we've determined that members want to spend money to lose money. So where do we make up the short fall? We know that motorcycles are a luxury, racing even more so. What percentage of the population is actually interested in racing motorcycles? I don't have exact figures, but I will say a very small amount. Now couple the number with poor dates, high overhead costs, a venue that seems to polarize riders and a club with a broken sense of community. Just lowering fees is not the magic bullet in my opinion.

    IMO the goal is to make the club as financially sustainable as possible. There is a huge risk in lowering the fees to try and encourage more participants. For example, using the $250 vs. $175.00 cap for every 10 racers that were at the cap we now need another 4 new participants just get close to breaking even with the previous model. Breaking even is great, however it isn't sustainable if you want to hold another event.
     
  10. Ryan Whittle

    Ryan Whittle Rider of Orange V-Twins

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    2
    It's a really interesting debate, with supply and demand.

    With a weakening Canadian dollar and the effort it takes to cross the border in to the US, how many racers would we lose if we increased rates by 30%?

    I think Jason makes some really interesting points, but I get the sense at the bottom of it all its the perception of value. $/lap racing vs. track days. $/lap Mission vs. AFM or WMRRA or OMRRA. I'm not sure that any of us REALLY understand about what drives value.

    I don't know if it's a valid analogy, but isn't racing vs. track days the same as playing hockey vs. stick and puck drop in? You spend a lot more time on the ice at stick and puck, put playing hockey in a league is much more expensive.

    I think the club is on the right path with hybrid days. The attrition in the club has led there to be a need to be all things to all people. Track days are a good supplement for those that would rather not race, but want to ride quickly in a safe environment. Racing provides an arena for competition, not just speed. While it is important to develop the track day side of things, perhaps there needs to be a different approach to the show (for lack of better term) of the racing scene. Once we dilute racing down to "track days with numbers" I think we all lose out.

    I'm not sure how we accomplish that, perhaps with less classes and AMB transponders we look at raceday trophy presentations?

    Just my rambling thoughts.
     
  11. HWY99

    HWY99 Team Green

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't think lowering the fees is a magic bullet either but it's a common theme when talking with potential racers. People would probably say race fees are too expensive with a $175 cap. I got the impression without actual data that most racers are below the cap. My logic was if we have small grids and the available track time let the members race more for the same cost. Maybe 20-30 racers benefit versus making a few extra dollars from 5-10 racers. The spin-off might be better retention of existing racers and maybe attract new racers. Maybe the fees should be more for the prime time July and August race and track days. Hybrid is dirt cheap but has good revenue potential.

    The need to subsidize racing because the club is below the "critical mass" of racers is a very sad state of affairs. We have to be creative and implement solutions to turn the situation around sooner than later. The necessary solutions could be less popular than track and hybrid days to keep some form of racing going.

    The low racer turnout last May was a huge disappointment given the beautiful sunny weather. It was noted that only the hardcore racers were there and attendance probably would have been the same if raining. It was the school and track days that carried the day financially.

    Ryan, I agree with your hockey analogy... I'm just grasping for straws before the "R" in WMRC becomes a "T" due to lack of racers.

    Jason, you were a big part of the major changes implemented last season which weren't conservative... and you are classified as a risk taker being a motorcycle racer!
     
  12. StevieMac

    StevieMac New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    That’s true but financially I think the members have elected a pretty conservative executive this year.
     
  13. Deb T

    Deb T New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2015
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    My first post, so i hope this works out.

    I'm a new racer. Took the school last year with no intention of racing. Saw what a couple of crashes did to street bikes at a subsequent track day and thought a dedicated track bike would be the way to go. Racing followed and now love it.

    If we want race fees to be lower then I think we need to max out track day/hybrid participation. Riding schools, Pitt Meadows track days, FaceBook meet-up groups and riding clubs are possible places to mine. There could be an incentive program based on the number of track day riders each racer can bring out to the club. This however may be hard to manage.

    I try to talk up WMRC track days when ever possible. I would be willing to help if a more formal approach is required to connect with the groups listed above. The end game would be that this extra revenue would be used to set a lower cap for race fees.
     
  14. HWY99

    HWY99 Team Green

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know Steve... just giving Jason a hard time. I'm sure we all appreciate the exec volunteering their time to run the club. It's an extremely challenging job and time for the club and they need lots of support from the membership.
     
  15. HWY99

    HWY99 Team Green

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for your input Deborah. We are all very impressed by you going on to race and commitment to the club.
     
  16. ducatigirl

    ducatigirl Moderator WMRC Exec

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    9
    Thanks for your input Deborah. The intent of the exec, with respect to the track days and race school, has always been that they be a way to subsidize the racing and hopefully lure more riders into racing. It is encouraging to know that we were successful in your case! You getting out there and spreading your enthusiasm about your experience is the best advertising we could hope for!
    If you are interested in helping out with any type of promotions, please get in touch.
    Thanks again,
    PAm
     
  17. nickridiculous

    nickridiculous New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    I probably shouldn't admit this, but I try to spend as little time as possible thinking about the cost of racing. I have a budget of sorts, but if I look too closely at the costs it gets nauseating!
     
  18. seandcontracting

    seandcontracting Smile!

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    1
    I hide all my racing costs...from myself! Damn ferries...
     

Share This Page