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: 


Thanks Chris and all race promoters

Thanks Chris for posting this up. Everyone that grumbles about races, lack of races, etc. should stand in Chris's (or any other race promoter) shoes. We racers are really the lucky ones that folks go out on a limb for us. Thanks to those that put on the races.

I am an MBA and well, the ROI equation up above is just not right. Chris, nor any other race prommoter is not getting rich on this and that does not take into account their time and energy.


Agree 100% Charlie. We are lucky to have race promoters keeping our schedule full great races.

The promoters don't get rich doing this stuff and there is a considerable amount of work behind the scenes(which most complainers conveniently disregard).

And hey, if a promoter is willing to handle the logistics of putting on a race. . .they SHOULD make a profit.

Well, compared to Chris'

Well, compared to Chris' breakdown you could probably eliminate traffic planning and control, street sweep, motor ref, to name a few cost elements. The CX races do have prizes, but they also charge more than $20 for racing.
On a related note, there's definitely a wide variety of race quality on the CO CX scene right now. The Politburo is trying to raise the quality bar thru BCR/BCT criteria and other race series designations.


Politburo... I prefer Politibike-a-buro. It's a little more than the typical stinky, slow, annoying politics we're all used too. I guess the short version is a lot better than other names.

Costs/Benefits are very different for cross promotion vs road

When police are required by the jurisdiction you've applied to, the overseeing law enforcement agency will tell you how many police you need. Sometimes it's viewed as revenue enhancement. Typically the officers working the event get %100 of the money, not the agency they work for or the municipality

I checked it out and any event around Boulder City / County / State Patrol, it's typically at least $ 50 per hour per person , $ 5 per hour for their car + mileage $$ from wherever they drove from to get to and from the event.

Really ?

I can't see any investor that would want to take the risks that race promoters take - especially in the spring. I am sure tha even by cancelling the race, CG incurred costs that would have wiped out that projected profit.

$350 for about a weeks worth of work certainly is not anything that I see "business folks really wanting to do - unless they love the sport and enjoy putting on races. Tha CG and other promoters for your hard work!