The Cost of Promoting a Bike Race

Wondering why DBCEvents pulled the plug on the Sunday race when the forecast didn't look all that bad? Simply put, $$. Chris Grealish of DBCEvents has provided 303cycling with a complete Profit and Loss break down of this spring race series.

Cost of running a race

  • $791 ACA Insurance
  • $340 ACA Officials ($160 discount) This includes 2 judges, chief ref, and motor marshal
  • $150 Photo Camera
  • $75 Bathrooms (per race day)
  • $50 Permit from Boulder
  • $50 ACA Permit
  • $150 Certified Traffic Control Plan (can be spread out over 3 races... if they happen)
  • $225 Street Sweeping
  • $350 On site Traffic Control Planner
  • $100 Professional Registration Manager
  • $230 Saturday night & Sunday Setup & take-down
  • $50 Baracades
  • $55 Lunch 9 people
  • $150 Race Flyer printing (flyer includes Boulder Roubaix)
  • $2766 Grand Total

Revenue from the race

  • 155 racers at $20 a rider = $3100

Profit After Expenses


This does NOT include other costs like

  • Website hosting, design and management
  • Flyer design
  • DBCEvents Graphic design (spread out over all races and maybe even years)
  • Time to attend promoters meeting
  • Both Chris and his wife receive no expense list from above.
  • Time it takes to organize all of the above items.
  • $100 per month - Storage of race kit
  • Cost of owning a race kit, signs, table, pens, radios, etc.
  • Sounds System ownership
  • Usage of DBCouiers equipment like big truck
  • Cost of owning DBCEvents LLC (of course this is spread out over many races) those costs to include account, taxes, LLC (or whatever type it is) registration state)
  • At least 20 pre-race hours organization then there is race day work.

Money aside, putting on a bike race is a lot of work and, DBCEvents has an advantage being that they have put on more races than most racers have participated in but that still doesn't make it easy, and the risk promotors take on are pretty big, imagine how crushing Mother Nature can be to a race. Remember the last time Boulder Roubaix ran, it was in August and was cold and very raining so very few riders turned out, leading to very big loss on that race. It is important to point out that for this race series above there were no sponsors which could offset a promotor risk of a loss.

What experience has your team had with promoting an event What worked and what didn't?

News Item: 


Prizes ???

These are training crits - are we really going to races just for prizes ? I don't see any prizes for any of the other sports such as marathons and other running events, except for those that are on the very elite end of it.

Most prizes are swag provided by sponsors, and sponsorship is very tight now days.

prizes are cool, but...

Great point KISS. I've never heard anybody run a 10K and ask for prizes. What is it about Front Range bike racers and prizes?

While it's neat and cool to have prizes, and it makes us CAT 3 & 4 riders feel really really special inside to sprint for a latte prime from the local coffee shop, or to win a gift certificate from a bike shop. . . THAT'S NOT THE POINT OF RACING.

Why Does Everybody Expect a Top-10 and a Blue Ribbon?

10k Prize Money

There are a lot of small to medium sized running races with prize money (and t-shirts with entry). In the Boston area a decent runner can pull in a couple of hundred bucks a weekend.

The races put on by the Boulder Running Company offer a fair bit of prize money ($300ish to win).

Why no discount for pre-registering?

I completely get the risk promoters take with Mother Nature. Why don't they hedge this risk by offering a discount for early registration? Even better, the promoters could band together and offer registration for 10 races at a 10-20% discount or something like that. Maybe getting all the promoters to coordinate on something like that is too complicated, but I for one would be willing to sign up early for a group of races if that got me a discount on the registration fee.