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View Full Version : We are really having a hard time out here...


JD McGee
07-17-2012, 01:15 PM
...drawing enough teams for our events to make them qualifiers. Even our first year events are only drawing 11 teams...kinda sad! Anyone notice an attendance downturn in your neck of the woods? :tsk:

sitnfat
07-17-2012, 01:33 PM
They all seem up here around Tennessee

Just Pulin' Pork
07-17-2012, 01:35 PM
JD with the weather we are having in the midwest this summer I would move to your neck of the woods in a heartbeat! The heat is killing us out here and making BBQ comps a struggle. As for a downturn, the 7 contests we have cooked the numbers have been pretty good. I would say 75% full! But keep in mind we have many contests within 3 hours on KC every weekend. Sorry to hear you guys can not get teams out your way!

Jon

big matt
07-17-2012, 01:51 PM
...drawing enough teams for our events to make them qualifiers. Even our first year events are only drawing 11 teams...kinda sad! Anyone notice an attendance downturn in your neck of the woods? :tsk:

Haven't seen a big loss of teams..actually Costa Mesa set the state record last month with 68 teams..only one event saw a huge downturn and that was Morgan Hill..they went from the biggest to average 65 to 43..the rest at least in So Cal have been 40-50 on average..Dana Point this year will probably hit 60+ no problem.

rooftop bbq
07-17-2012, 02:10 PM
ya southern california is booming. I'd like to make it up there and cook, seems you have a really short season though. Headed up there in october wish there was a comp to cook up there then

Slamdunkpro
07-17-2012, 02:54 PM
Booming here - comps are selling out and new ones are popping up everywhere.

mobow
07-17-2012, 03:29 PM
I think the numbers for a comp are about the same but I see a significant number of comps from a few years ago that no longer exist. About half of the contest I judged two years ago do not exist anymore. keith

DawgPhan
07-17-2012, 04:13 PM
Haven't seen a big loss of teams..actually Costa Mesa set the state record last month with 68 teams..only one event saw a huge downturn and that was Morgan Hill..they went from the biggest to average 65 to 43..the rest at least in So Cal have been 40-50 on average..Dana Point this year will probably hit 60+ no problem.


According to the National BBQ Rankings database, CA has had the 6th most bbq contests since 2006. I was surprised to see that and they certainly have been coming hard this season. You also see a lot more double header weekends in CA...more than anywhere else.

jacksedona
07-17-2012, 04:20 PM
...drawing enough teams for our events to make them qualifiers. Even our first year events are only drawing 11 teams...kinda sad! Anyone notice an attendance downturn in your neck of the woods? :tsk:


it may have to do with the weather?




http://thebarbecuemaster.net

big matt
07-17-2012, 04:34 PM
According to the National BBQ Rankings database, CA has had the 6th most bbq contests since 2006. I was surprised to see that and they certainly have been coming hard this season. You also see a lot more double header weekends in CA...more than anywhere else.

Interesting fact..we are looking at the most ever here this year..our state is so big is part of it and weather is a factor too..plus it's growing here very quickly.

Rich Parker
07-17-2012, 04:38 PM
Attendance is down up here too. If we are able to keep the same comps next year, I would be surprised.

big matt
07-17-2012, 04:40 PM
it may have to do with the weather?




http://thebarbecuemaster.net

Very much so..we basically have no off season..we cooked new year and again at the end of Jan in Havasu..Northern Cal has a lot more rain than down south but it's still bearable to cook in than heavy snow..also a lot of teams from So Cal make the trips to Nv and Az more often.

Plowboy
07-17-2012, 05:25 PM
Attendance is up in the center of the country. After 15 contests, my average contest size is 57.

Funtimebbq
07-17-2012, 05:41 PM
Let's not forget that CA had one contest with a whopping 4 teams. Mostly due to a lack of communication between the organizer and teams.

It is great to have so many contests relatively close. I had planned to do around 5. Right now, I'm at 7 and will cook at least 10 this year, all within 100 miles of home. Sure beats those 6 to 10 hour drives.

Benny

crd26a
07-17-2012, 05:42 PM
JD - I think the PNWBA needs to relook at some of the prize pools. I'm looking at competing next year there and probably won't do that many contests. Looking at the August - October schedule, only 4 contests have total payouts over $5k. When I look at the Portland OR IPA contest with a pool of 4k, if I pulled one out of my a$$ and won all four events, I'd walk with $1,250 in total with the GC prize. No one is doing this for money, but I'd be dropping 500-1k to just pull out of the drive way (150 entry + 120 in gas + 300 in meat + supplies), be lucky to break even as the GC, and still have a 8 hour round trip to be staring at. Next year, I'll probably hit the big payout tournaments and possibly some that are close, but chances of me driving to OR, MT etc. for 3-5k prize pools is pretty close to none. Its tough to push on the contests, but to get Jack 25 numbers, got to have some prizes to entice me to come out and drive the distance.

CivilWarBBQ
07-17-2012, 06:08 PM
Event attendance in Georgia seems about level, but then the number of contests here has been growing steadily for the past 5 years. So by that measure, yes, the total number of contest entries statewide is up.

I think we're near saturation for what the in-state pool of teams can support, so any future growth will probably have to come from either new cooks or teams coming in from other states.

G$
07-17-2012, 06:13 PM
Let's not forget that CA had one contest with a whopping 4 teams. Mostly due to a lack of communication between the organizer and teams.

Benny

Which one was that?


...drawing enough teams for our events to make them qualifiers. Even our first year events are only drawing 11 teams...kinda sad! Anyone notice an attendance downturn in your neck of the woods? :tsk:

JD, are there the same number of CONTESTS as in prior years?

AZScott
07-17-2012, 06:31 PM
In AZ our contests have been quite a bit bigger than last years. It's really cool to see so many new teams come in and be excited about competing. The downside is we have absolutely zero contests announced for the rest of the year right now although I hear some are coming. I'm looking at some pretty long drives over the next couple of months for our next 3 contests.

JD McGee
07-17-2012, 07:25 PM
JD, are there the same number of CONTESTS as in prior years?

There are actually a few more new ones at the beginning of the season and folks turned out to support them. Now we are in the middle of the season and we just can't get the teams to come out. I am afraid if we can't get the team support a lot of our events will disappear. Our prize money has always been around 5,000.00 on average. We have a few around 7-15 grand and our big daddy is 25 grand. Thanks for the input folks! :-P

Funtimebbq
07-17-2012, 10:37 PM
Which one was that?



The contest was in Ontario, CA on the 1st weekend in May. More of our CA teams have come to rely on the CBBQA site for information. This organizer came very late to the site with info.

Benny

Lion Bout The Q
07-17-2012, 10:52 PM
We have been to 2 contests in western Missouri that didn't make qualifiers this year for lack of teams.

landarc
07-17-2012, 11:07 PM
JD, from what I can see, there are still a lot of areas of the PNW that are hurting economically. I gotta believe that there are a lot of folks that a $500 to $1000 weekend is still a stretch. My friend who shoots horse shows has been finding it harder to charge, as there are just fewer folks riding in shows.

Brewer
07-18-2012, 12:57 AM
Maybe watching you win every comp last year got boring so everyone left... :evil:


There are actually a few more new ones at the beginning of the season and folks turned out to support them. Now we are in the middle of the season and we just can't get the teams to come out. I am afraid if we can't get the team support a lot of our events will disappear. Our prize money has always been around 5,000.00 on average. We have a few around 7-15 grand and our big daddy is 25 grand. Thanks for the input folks! :-P

swamprb
07-18-2012, 04:14 AM
I don't think its any worse around here than in the past. In 2009/10 when JD and I cooked together we earned 8 GC's and 3 of them were not Qualifiers, 2 due to lack of teams.
We cooked 3 events with $10K in Prize money and NONE of them were able to draw the teams needed to make them Qualifiers! We begged and pleaded to get 11 teams to an event less than 30 minutes from the US/Canadian Border that drew one CDN team with a $10K purse!

One event in Southern Oregon which could have drawn Northern California teams failed IMO to the fact that teams had to cook meats provided for sampling, and a KCBS comp on Vancouver Island was offering FREE entry for teams to show up - both $10K!

As sad a quote as it is from Brewer, I have had people confide that they did in fact not cook events LHS had registered for when JD and I were rolling, and seeing it from the other side, it does get boring when the same team wins all the time - :crazy:

I just can't understand why people are afraid to admit that the economy and the unemployment rate is a factor?
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/planning/wtp/datalibrary/Economy/UnemploymentbyCounty.htm

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/planning/wtp/datalibrary/Economy/UnemploymentbyCounty.htm

This year we blew off 2 planned events when Ty got catering gigs and I know there are others out here doing the same, its almost as much work with a better payoff. Friday/Saturday or Labor Day Monday cooks are dealbreakers as well.
Hell its only July, we have 3 more months of BBQ before hibernation!

Spydermike72
07-18-2012, 06:51 AM
I don't think its any worse around here than in the past. In 2009/10 when JD and I cooked together we earned 8 GC's and 3 of them were not Qualifiers, 2 due to lack of teams.
We cooked 3 events with $10K in Prize money and NONE of them were able to draw the teams needed to make them Qualifiers! We begged and pleaded to get 11 teams to an event less than 30 minutes from the US/Canadian Border that drew one CDN team with a $10K purse!

One event in Southern Oregon which could have drawn Northern California teams failed IMO to the fact that teams had to cook meats provided for sampling, and a KCBS comp on Vancouver Island was offering FREE entry for teams to show up - both $10K!



Brian we are seeing the same thing here in Michigan, we had an $8500.00 comp only get 19 teams and we have a $10K comp that is not getting much traction BBQ Team wise. We too are close to the Canadian boarder as well as Ohio,Indiana, and Illinois. Not sure what is keeping folks away from bigger dollar events... :confused:

Balls Casten
07-18-2012, 08:10 AM
Some of you seem to be focusing on the prize money. Does that really matter to the average team that does not win often?
I certinly look at the prize fund but Im much more interested in the aminities.

DawgPhan
07-18-2012, 08:35 AM
How many teams to do you think are in that area? If there are just 100 teams doing on average 2-3 contests then you really only have 200-300 contest_teams available for a season. So you can have 4-5 40-50 team contests or maybe 6-7 20-30 team contest, any more than 10 contests and you really are going to be having to create new teams to fill those slots. which gives me an idea...I wonder how many unique teams have competed in each state...I should be able to pull that up.

G$
07-18-2012, 08:42 AM
Brian/JD from afar it sounds like there are too many contests. Do you think you'd get twice the participation numbers with half the contests? EG, my schedule allows maybe three a year. If there were 6 feasible ones, I'd hit half. If there were three, I'd hit them all.

columbia1
07-18-2012, 08:50 AM
I just can't understand why people are afraid to admit that the economy and the unemployment rate is a factor?


100% agree, we are seeing the same at the sheep shows and county fairs this year, the crowds are much smaller then they were last year with fewer entries in the animal barns, even the number of vendors are way down. Same can be said for the chili cookoffs, hard to get a qualifier going if they are not at a BBQ event.

Brewer
07-18-2012, 10:00 AM
Brian/JD from afar it sounds like there are too many contests. Do you think you'd get twice the participation numbers with half the contests? EG, my schedule allows maybe three a year. If there were 6 feasible ones, I'd hit half. If there were three, I'd hit them all.

That's a great point and likely part of the problem.... Take Montana for instance - this year there are two PNWBA comps and neither is likely to pull enough competitors to make it a return qualifier.

I'd prefer to see fewer comps with higher prize pools and larger turnouts.

DawgPhan
07-18-2012, 11:00 AM
How many teams to do you think are in that area? If there are just 100 teams doing on average 2-3 contests then you really only have 200-300 contest_teams available for a season. So you can have 4-5 40-50 team contests or maybe 6-7 20-30 team contest, any more than 10 contests and you really are going to be having to create new teams to fill those slots. which gives me an idea...I wonder how many unique teams have competed in each state...I should be able to pull that up.

since 2006 the number of unique teams with top 10 finishes in each states is pretty interesting.

anyway, I have a really nifty chart to show, but photobucket is down and the message board says it is too long..

anyway.

Kansas(1710) and Missouri(1554) top the list, Georgia(898), Florida(852) and Tennessee(795) round out the top 5.

Washington(159) and Oregon(115) come in pretty far down the list.

I will post the chart @ facebook.com/nationalbbqrankings if anything wants to see it.

DawgPhan
07-18-2012, 11:17 AM
also interesting is the top 5 unique teams basically mirrors the top 5 contests per state list...I would imagine that any time the number of contests and unique teams diverge you are going to have issues drawing teams.

I havent run the numbers yet, but I think that you could get to a fairly solid "contests per team" number by comparing getting the ratio of unique teams to contests in a state and use that as a decent guideline for organizers to know if a state needed more contests...

JD McGee
07-18-2012, 01:29 PM
also interesting is the top 5 unique teams basically mirrors the top 5 contests per state list...I would imagine that any time the number of contests and unique teams diverge you are going to have issues drawing teams.

I havent run the numbers yet, but I think that you could get to a fairly solid "contests per team" number by comparing getting the ratio of unique teams to contests in a state and use that as a decent guideline for organizers to know if a state needed more contests...

Thanks for the info...what do you mean by "unique" teams? I think part of our problem is that we are spread too thin...too many comps...too few teams that compete on a regular basis. Plus our area is HUGE...WA, OR, MT, BC, ID,...lots of miles to travel gets expensive. Another thing is that the majority of our comps are not rv friendly...our assigned spaces are only 20x20 on average. I know a few teams that do not cook if they can't bring their rv...sad.

big brother smoke
07-18-2012, 01:53 PM
Thanks for the info...what do you mean by "unique" teams? I think part of our problem is that we are spread too thin...too many comps...too few teams that compete on a regular basis. Plus our area is HUGE...WA, OR, MT, BC, ID,...lots of miles to travel gets expensive. Another thing is that the majority of our comps are not rv friendly...our assigned spaces are only 20x20 on average. I know a few teams that do not cook if they can't bring their rv...sad.

This is a huge factor. Once you go RV, it is hard not to roll that way!

DawgPhan
07-18-2012, 02:12 PM
Thanks for the info...what do you mean by "unique" teams? I think part of our problem is that we are spread too thin...too many comps...too few teams that compete on a regular basis. Plus our area is HUGE...WA, OR, MT, BC, ID,...lots of miles to travel gets expensive. Another thing is that the majority of our comps are not rv friendly...our assigned spaces are only 20x20 on average. I know a few teams that do not cook if they can't bring their rv...sad.


Unique would be distinct or different teams. So 159 different teams have finished in the top 10 in WA since 2006. It would only be distinct or unique for each state though. So if your team finished in the top 10 in WA and OR both states would get credit for 1 unique team. Any subsequent top 10 finishes in those states would not increase the number of unique teams.

I can pull numbers for unique across multiple states to get a unique number for WA, OR, ID, and MT or something like that if you are wondering what the total PNWBA team pool looks like.

didisea
07-18-2012, 02:38 PM
I think another thing that somewhat hurts in the Seattle area is the Health Dept is so tough that we can't have a contest in King County anymore. Friends and family who live around Seattle don't have a contest that you can say "come and watch me cook or help me cook," to allow people to see what happens at a contest, and hopefully hook them into becoming a team. So the fact that we cannot, because of gov't regulation, attract sponsors and money to the largest urban county in our state, says that we as citizens have let the gov't run amok upon us.

crd26a
07-18-2012, 03:17 PM
Dawg's analysis is very interesting, as is the issue with not being able to hold one in King County. I'd be curious to see if KCBS and PNWBA couldn't try to jointly petition the county for allowable exceptions - but then again, its King County. Is this mainly b/c of the PNWBA sampling or is it that they want to classify them as temporary food establishments?

The RV spaces is also huge - I'd squeak in with my current setup with a 7 x 16 ft cargo trailer. 20 x 20 is great, but give me x 25 or x 30 any day of the week.

didisea
07-18-2012, 04:32 PM
"Can't have a contest in King County" should be replaced by "It is economically unattractive to contest organizers." So the cost of the permit and the hoops that they want to put the event participants through.

Capn Kev
07-18-2012, 04:48 PM
JD,

Back on topic. Yes, several of the contests around here have seen a diminished number of teams this year versus years in the past. One contest canceled completely (54 team contest last year), due to financial constraints. There's rumor that another prominent contest may be folding next year. Another contest that was paying $10k only had 12 teams show up. Not sure if that one will be back next year.

There are a number of factors that were/are involved in the reduction of teams participating in some of the contests. Cost management was a big issue for many when signing up for comps earlier this year, considering that gas costs were forecasted to be near $5/gal this summer. Many of us decided to limit our distances.

In addition, the saturation of competitions are having a slight impact as well. There are many weekends in which there are contests within 300 or so miles of each other competing for some of the same teams. To add on to that, due to the increased number of competition choices, teams that only do 5 or so comps a year have more comps to choose from.

However, competitions that have been going for 10+ years such as Frisco and Dillon filled up within a day. Those are the "gem" contests out here, weather's nice, pay is fair, good spaces, water, electricity, 100% CBJ, etc.

Kev

JD McGee
07-18-2012, 08:03 PM
I think another thing that somewhat hurts in the Seattle area is the Health Dept is so tough that we can't have a contest in King County anymore. Friends and family who live around Seattle don't have a contest that you can say "come and watch me cook or help me cook," to allow people to see what happens at a contest, and hopefully hook them into becoming a team. So the fact that we cannot, because of gov't regulation, attract sponsors and money to the largest urban county in our state, says that we as citizens have let the gov't run amok upon us.

Yep...sad...but true. We lost our Duvall competition because the sponsor "Ranchers Reserve" pulled out...plus King Co. HD wanted $4,000 in fees for permits to allow teams to sample to the public for charity...:tsk:

sdbbq1234
07-18-2012, 08:45 PM
Booming here - comps are selling out and new ones are popping up everywhere.


Late to comment here, but this is true for this area. We have already missed out on 2 comps that we wanted to "get our feet wet" in.

But, it is hotter than blu-blazes here now. We will be at the Bluemont BBQ Bash, but only as judges.

The better half said, "Again, you waited till the last minute, and now we are out!"

Bad news is, she was right.:mmph:

wallace

DawgPhan
07-18-2012, 09:47 PM
Looking at the number of unique teams per state each year makes things a little clearer.

You look at Georgia which has added 80 new teams just this year. WA has added none and OR has only added a few.

I know that I dont capture every contest that happens in that region, but I think that there are probably just not the new teams to build the base of teams.

Also of note is that there have been 80 teams that have never gotten a call get top 10 call this year in Georgia. There were 111 unique teams get top 10 calls in 2006 to 2007.

JD McGee
07-18-2012, 09:58 PM
Looking at the number of unique teams per state each year makes things a little clearer.

You look at Georgia which has added 80 new teams just this year. WA has added none and OR has only added a few.

I know that I dont capture every contest that happens in that region, but I think that there are probably just not the new teams to build the base of teams.

Also of note is that there have been 80 teams that have never gotten a call get top 10 call this year in Georgia. There were 111 unique teams get top 10 calls in 2006 to 2007.

Are these KCBS comps or do they include PNWBA?

DawgPhan
07-19-2012, 10:58 AM
Are these KCBS comps or do they include PNWBA?


it would include some PNWBA events, but not all. Though I would think I have enough to capture the vast majority of teams who compete in PNWBA events. at least those that finish in the top 10 in any category.