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View Full Version : Cost Of Competing: At What Point Is It Too Much???


Q-Dat
01-22-2014, 09:54 PM
I know this will be different for everyone, but I'm just curious. We have a new contest down here on the coast this year. Now I'm not knocking the people putting this contest on, because I have no idea what their overhead is. That being said I'm used to seeing $250 entry fees in the limited amount of KCBS contests that I cook. This particular comp has an entry fee of $285 then with additional charges turnoutd $20 for electical and water respectively. For most cooks that travel from any kind of distance this is going to put them over $500 after fuel at least before even buying a single piece of meat. For many more that travel even longer distances it will be over $600 I know that in the grand scheme of it, the extra $35 for the entry fee and the $45 for water and power are not much money, but does it really have to cost this much?

I guess what I'm really wondering is how many people don't compete because of the high cost, and how many more WOULD compete if the cost was lets say abou half of what it is now. I'm not saying that there is even a practical way to get the cost down that low, but I do wonder what it would do to turnout numbers if it were MUCH more affordable. I hear a lot of talk about contests that are suffering for turnouts much more so than they used to. I'm sure that has more to do with the economy than increases in entry fees.

It also makes me wonder what the true motivation for competing is for most. Most of the people I hear talk about it say that you don't compete to make money. You do it because you enjoy it. That is certainly the case for me. I definitely enjoy getting a check for a high finish, but its not my main focus.

So how about it? At what point does it become more money than you can stomach to compete in a BBQ cookoff even if you can afford it?

INmitch
01-22-2014, 10:13 PM
Depends on who you are asking. I just filled my freezer with brikies that cost me an average of $160 apiece. I've driven down to your neck of the woods (800 miles+) just to get out of the cold. I've also driven 75 miles to comps just to get pi$$ed at the judges. If $45 made me question my hobby and where I'm going to compete........well I would probably just stay home and take advantage of the golf course membership and cart fees that I pay every year..and don't use and stay home.

JazzyBadger
01-23-2014, 01:00 AM
While competition BBQ interests me in the sense that it's interesting to see what people would do, I could never see myself getting into the practice of it if it was for anything other than to win the competitions, mostly because of the crazy costs involved.
I cannot picture throwing that much money into something just for the thrill of the cook.
The thrill for me that comes from cooking is seeing my family or friends enjoy the things I make.

If I were running a business that catered BBQ food, or I ran a BBQ restaurant, I'd be more inclined to run the competition circuit as well, at least throughout Texas, but just for the fun of it all? It's not for me. Perhaps if it were substantially reduced it would be more tempting, but in all honesty I'm not sure I'd want to take vacation time, or add that many miles to my vehicles just to sit around in parking lots cooking up some meat for strangers.

EverettBBQ
01-23-2014, 02:33 AM
I have competed for 1 year now.
Our team pays it own way.
About $100 per person per event
We did 7 events with calls in 5 ea.
The motivation was not the money.
There is no bigger rush than hearing your team name called.
The second reason I compete is for the fun time.
Is there a point of to much money to pay?? Yes. What is that amount?
If I had to put out say $200 per event, well may stay home.
You can compete and keep the cost under control.

BobWaltersBBQ
01-23-2014, 06:24 AM
I raised my fees to add more prize money, to draw bigger names and to even the field on space. I honestly think fees can go much higher. My contest takes around 25,000 to put on.

TooSaucedToPork
01-23-2014, 06:32 AM
The motivation was not the money.
There is no bigger rush than hearing your team name called.
The second reason I compete is for the fun time.



Yup...This is why we have always done it, we have a good time, meet some new people, and go home happy (hopefully with some new hardware)

We started out cooking MBN Comps...this was long before they added the Challenger Division making it the cost of a KCBS comp. Entry Fee + meats (6 whole shoulders, 12 racks of Ribs) etc was $650-$750 plus booze, gas, etc...

Then we do Memphis in May every year on which we spend about $15,000. :shock:


So we have a different outlook than most teams

Crash
01-23-2014, 06:33 AM
It depends on the payouts IMO.

We've regularly competed in the past at a $300 entry fee (w/ elec and nearby water) for a 5k payout contest with 16-30+ teams.

Our main motivation was to have some fun with friends and break even. At least 50% ROI guaranteed....but the walks and cash were definitely icing on the cake.

I'd say if a team is paying 200-300$ after entry fee, they're doing a good job on their competition budget.

Lake Dogs
01-23-2014, 06:58 AM
We budget $800 per KCBS, GBA, etc. style cookoff. Yes, for us, this is too much. I haven't competed in these in a few years now. I miss it, but just cannot afford it. The last MBN competition we did all the ancillaries but not whole hog, cost was right at $1500. Luckily placed high enough and won a few ancillaries to make most of it back...

rookiedad
01-23-2014, 07:28 AM
but in all honesty I'm not sure I'd want to take vacation time, or add that many miles to my vehicles just to sit around in parking lots cooking up some meat for strangers.

...in the rain!!! you forgot to say in the rain!!!

smokeisgood
01-23-2014, 07:44 AM
I limit myself to two or three comps a year due to cost. I could afford more, but that would be at the expense of other hobbies. But to me, the whole "we have to raise entry fees to raise prize amounts" is counter productive. If it were not so expensive, more people would participate, and more teams paying less is better than fewer teams paying more. As it is, Competition BBQ is seemingly a rich man's game and intends to keep itself that way. Sure, you can compete on a shoestring budget with homemade cookers etc, but you're still looking at $500.00 weekends.

Jason TQ
01-23-2014, 07:54 AM
Some contests I guess take more to put on that others. Charging for water is very rare from what I've seen so that would be a turn off for me. Was the electric charge for basic electric?

There was a competition in TN I was going to do, but then saw the entry was $300 for a 20x20 spot which I haven't seen that much for a small spot. The upgraded spot was another $75 and to travel that far would have been about $120 in gas. So just to get there would have been about $500. Then I realized last night sams club signups was happening and there was on about 20 miles from me and signed up for that for $250. The payouts are about the same.

We do a decent amount of competing now so I definitely watch the initial cost to potential payout ratio.

Full Draw BBQ
01-23-2014, 09:22 AM
We have a running joke on our team that we "Spend $1000 to try and win $500". We split costs evenly for the most part, and are actively looking for sponsors going forward. With that said, this year is the first year we are thinking of cutting back some just because of the cost/economy. Half to do with the cost, and a bigger half to do with making less money at my "real job".

Slamdunkpro
01-23-2014, 09:27 AM
If you have to ask..........

peeps
01-23-2014, 09:29 AM
The thought of competing has entered my head a time or 2, but never investigated costs. Pretty sure it is well out of consideration now...

TooSaucedToPork
01-23-2014, 10:02 AM
The thought of competing has entered my head a time or 2, but never investigated costs. Pretty sure it is well out of consideration now...

Tag along with a local team to see if you like it...don't judge it by $. You can get friends together to offset costs.

Lake Dogs
01-23-2014, 10:15 AM
Tag along with a local team to see if you like it...don't judge it by $. You can get friends together to offset costs.

peeps, what TooSaucedToPork said above. My problem is/was that I was funding this all by my lonesome. The "spending $1000 to win $500" said above was true. I did have a few contests where I won more than I spent, but most of the time it was like that (above). TEAM; geat a group of folks and share the costs. MiM/MBN pretty much have to have a team, because 1 person and a runner will NOT do it. KCBS, it is accomplishable, but you're funding this yourself...

Hopefully, for me, one day my regular BBQ partner will make a few more dollars and be able to split the funding. Until then, frankly, we're sidelined, I just can't afford it. Wonderful fun hobby, but is just too $$$ for me right now.

Jason TQ
01-23-2014, 10:21 AM
Tag along with a local team to see if you like it...don't judge it by $. You can get friends together to offset costs.

What is this "friends to offset costs" you speak of :-P.

JD McGee
01-23-2014, 10:35 AM
This is our hobby...not our profession. When we can no longer break even on expenses we will quit...:cool:

kwas68
01-23-2014, 10:43 AM
Cost is the primary reason I don't compete with the professionals. Luckily, I've found some amateur contests that I enjoy and scratch my itch. If the costs were cut in half, I'd probably enter a comp or two per year.

I don’t think I’m saying anything novel, but competition BBQ needs a paying audience (or larger audience to attract sponsors) in order to make this a more profitable endeavor. Right now competitions don’t engage the public. Most competitors prep and cook behind closed doors so there is nothing to see. There is no competition worthy food to consume. What’s in it for the general public? I’m frankly surprised how supportive these venues seem to be for what they get for hosting a BBQ competition. With no (or little) financial assistance from sponsors or the public, competitors must bear most of the costs associated with the contest. Somebody smarter than me will have to figure out HOW to get the public and/or businesses engaged.

Competition BBQ doesn't seem to be hurting though. More and more competitions are popping up and more teams are competing even with the high costs.

Candy Sue
01-23-2014, 10:53 AM
I've seen all kinds of configurations of teams. One that has impressed me was a formed team with 4 members (one for each meat). At the beginning of the season, every member made a cash contribution at the start to cover entry fees. Each member got the proceeds and trophy of any call in their individual category. An overall win goes back into the group pot to further the entries. Each individual got what they needed (rubs, sauces, meat) to do their category.

Off topic, the above is a way to split costs. For me, I pick the contests I'd like to cook and prioritize them. If there's a discount for getting the entry fee in early, I do my best to grab that. Right now, I've got 8 contests for this year entered and paid for 2014. If I get lucky early, it'll fund more. If I don't get lucky at all, I've not spent more than I meant to.

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
01-23-2014, 11:26 AM
When contest fees start creeping up it does make me think twice about doing a contest. The reason I think twice isn't that the extra $50-$75 is going to break me. If the purse is really big then I understand. If the purse is low and they are nickel and diming teams it makes me question whether its a well run event.

peeps
01-23-2014, 11:32 AM
I understand the reasoning for not allowing contestants to sell food, but it seems that if folks had more potential to break even by being able to sell the non-boxed grub, there might be a boost in attendance of contestants AND the public.

Rich Parker
01-23-2014, 11:40 AM
If I have to get GC or RGC to break even, I am probably not going unless it is super convenient and a blast.

TooSaucedToPork
01-23-2014, 11:53 AM
I understand the reasoning for not allowing contestants to sell food, but it seems that if folks had more potential to break even by being able to sell the non-boxed grub, there might be a boost in attendance of contestants AND the public.

Whole nuther ball of wax...

Unless teams don't have to pay for individual health inspections, you won't see this

Some states you can get blanket contest permits...some you can't.

There are movements in the Fundraising/Sampling ticket process that have done well up here in NY. Last year we made $296 at one contest from $2 sample tickets. The charity splits the $2 with you.

That is the Nature of BBQ...It only takes 1 careless person on 1 team to get 100 people sick...

peeps
01-23-2014, 11:56 AM
Whole nuther ball of wax...

...

That is the Nature of BBQ...It only takes 1 careless person on 1 team to get 100 people sick...I hear ya...

frankH
01-23-2014, 06:01 PM
We've been competing for 3 years, with 5 or 6 guys contributing at each competition. Some are there to hang out and drink, some are there to compete. 2 of us buy/supply all of the equipment, but everyone splits the cost for each event evenly. We agree that all winnings go towards the next competition. In the rare instance we have a sponsor, we spend the winnings on something for the team, like a cambro or water tank.

It turns out to be $100-$200 per guy per event. the $200 if there is a party for friends friday night. Of course, that $200 doesn't cover the tent we built, the totes we buy, the smokers we build, and all the rest.

To me, the $300 entry is reasonable for the expenses or charity the organizers have. Compared to the rest of the expenses, i think the $250-$300 is reasonable.

The main reason we don't compete more than 3 times a year is the time commitment. We spend a ton of time prepping for these comps, starting 2 weeks out. Plus I always need to take of work the friday before, convince the wife, make sure the kids can stay at grandma's, etc...

We had a hard time finding more than two guys that wanted to compete. once we proposed that guys could sit and drink while we cook and invite their friends to the party, interest went up. And it's turned out that some of the beer drinkers got bit by the bug, and now want to help cook.

HBMTN
01-23-2014, 06:37 PM
In 2007 there were 2 competitions each year in my state and they were on the same day and you chose which one you were going to do. In 2013 there were like 13 in the state and several others who wanted to put on a comp but could not find a date to work for them and not conflict other comps. So like anything in life the more popular it is the more that can be charged for it. I've cut my schedule down to 1 last year and don't know if I will compete at all this year. Mostly due to time and a little about price. I miss my friends at competitions more than anything but when I started competing it was about trying to win and doing the best I could. Then while watching Chopped on Food Network and realized 3 world class chefs judging another chef could not decide between the three of them what good or bad then how was a bunch of people in a KCBS tent going to be any different. So when I compete now it's more about the fellowship of friends and being around people who are as passionate about something as I am, and if I do good it's a bonus.

Q-Dat
01-23-2014, 06:37 PM
I appreciate everyone's answers. I myself do about a half dozen contests a year right now, but that is only because we have a number of IBCA events in reasonable driving distance. IBCA comps don't typically have the payout of KCBS, there's no question about it, but I have yet to see an IBCA entry fee over $150 and this usually includes everything unless you need special connections for water and electrical. Depending on meat cost I can usually compete IBCA for less than $300. Many don't have this luxury because IBCA has yet to spread to their part of the country.

I appreciate each sanctioning body, but Hammond LA will likely remain my only KCBS comp of the year due to cost.

Q-Dat
01-23-2014, 06:52 PM
The while watching Chopped on Food Network and realized 3 world class chefs judging another chef could not decide between the three of them what good or bad then how was a bunch of people in a KCBS tent going to be any different.

Excellent excellent point.

FatCoyote
01-23-2014, 07:07 PM
The price of entry in TX is far less for most comps, they are, readily available, fun and I am sure there are far more bbq opinions here than anywhere else. However, if a price must be discussed; the break point for me would be finding the break point between the fun of being called, the cost of meats and the cost of entry including travel. In short, if you are worried about cost then you probably shouldn't be competing as it is a far worse investment than buying a vehicle... need any more be said.

TooSaucedToPork
01-23-2014, 07:36 PM
What is this "friends to offset costs" you speak of :-P.

You form a team with your friends...to share costs.

Or...if the contest is local
You throw a Party in your booth Friday or Saturday Night and let your friends kick money into the kitty as a donation for your time, space, and food. BYOB

your friends offset your cost :boink:

Jason TQ
01-23-2014, 07:49 PM
You form a team with your friends...to share costs.

Or...if the contest is local
You throw a Party in your booth Friday or Saturday Night and let your friends kick money into the kitty as a donation for your time, space, and food. BYOB

your friends offset your cost :boink:

I hear ya :grin:. My comment was more tongue in cheek. A few of the local ones my friends do drop a little coin my way. I'll will say I would have trouble adding a contributing teammate because I don't know if I could give up control of everything. Some times I dream of only having to worry about 2 meats, but I probably wouldn't know what to do with myself with all that extra time :loco:.

DaveAlvarado
01-24-2014, 11:51 AM
What is this "friends to offset costs" you speak of :-P.

Well you see, when a man and another man love BBQ very much... :mrgreen:

I'm getting into this for fun, so I figure if a contest is too far or the entry fee too high, I just won't go. I'm the special kind of crazy that bought and cooked 90lbs of meat for my friends last weekend, just because I had days off work. Didn't ask for a dime in return, although one friend with a glass etching kit made me a custom pint glass.

That's kind of like a contest, right? Spend hundreds of dollars, win a thing to put on a shelf? :mrgreen:

stan
01-24-2014, 12:28 PM
The contest that I help put on April 4-5 is in its 7th year. We make it a practice to pay back the majority of the entry fee... ie. we pay the kcbs sanctioning fees, any ecommerce fees and if we give items like shirts the cost of the shirt. The last 3 years we have average 73 teams and paid out over $10,000 each year. We get our city involved with donating the space for the event with some power, we get the generators donated for the area we don't already have power and we get sponsors to help pay for the other expenses! We hold a peoples choice fundraiser to give money to charity! Over 6 years we have given $19,000 to charity from the peoples choice and raffle items.

We are lucky because we have the support of the city and local businesses not all can do that. I will not speak for other organizers on how they do it. I can tell you as a competitor I stay away from some contests because the amount of the entry compared to the payout!

smokeisgood
01-24-2014, 12:33 PM
Well, I went out to lunch today at work, made a stop, and came back with a new Kimber .45..........so the cost of playing in BBQ this season just got seemingly more expensive..

PekingPorker
01-24-2014, 12:45 PM
I will tell you this. This competition BBQ thing is a hobby that becomes and addiction. Last year I decided to compete for the first time and incurred 99.9% off all the startup costs myself. I didn't expect to purchase a new smoker along the way, but I did. I purchased everything from tents, to countless $$$ in meats for practice runs, chairs, tables, termapens, etc.

It's going to take me awhile to break even as I'm already thousands of dollars in the whole, but it doesn't bother me. I did win $500 my first competition, but the thrill of getting two calls was way more exciting to me than the money. The people I have met and friends I have made in the BBQ world over the past year are priceless.

rdstoll
01-24-2014, 02:32 PM
...but the thrill of getting two calls was way more exciting to me than the money. The people I have met and friends I have made in the BBQ world over the past year are priceless.


This is basically why I want to compete in a couple of events this year. It's really about trying to get good at something I know I'm not good at and then having fun along the way, meeting some good people. The "price" I'd put on all of that is definitely less than $1000/contest which is why I'm only looking to do local, Midwest contests this year. A $250 entry plus meat/gas/etc is a worthwhile enough "investment" for a good time. Crap, I could spend that much just going to 1-2 ballgames at Wrigley Field!

Jason TQ
01-24-2014, 02:35 PM
Well you see, when a man and another man love BBQ very much... :mrgreen:


Ha! Awesome.

CBQ
01-24-2014, 04:51 PM
It's a hobby, not a money making venture. My other hobbies include playing poker. BBQ is more expensive :becky:

sdbbq1234
01-24-2014, 05:48 PM
It's fun. We knew what kind of money it would cost before we did our first comp.

We have won $100.00 to date, and that is in 9 comps. Yes, I am a slow learner. It has cost us a boat load, but then my wife and I have worked hard all our lives and we deserve to spend money we have saved.

She will tell me when it is time to stop.

As for the amount per comp, that is something that we consider for each event.

$250.00 and maybe some additional for electricity, or larger space is not out of line IMO.

wallace

arrowhead
01-24-2014, 07:31 PM
not to take it off track, but our contest pays out 100% of the entry fee. pay top 10 overall and top 10 in each category (4 kcbs) we offer water and electricity (20 or 30 amp) at each site, provide 40 lbs of ice. our spots go anywhere from 40 x 20 to 74 x 25. some spots are pull thru. in a city park. early entry is $200 and then to $225.

april 25th/26th in Gothenburg NE

EverettBBQ
01-24-2014, 08:31 PM
It is like hunting.....do not justify the cost by the meat you put in the freezer. :wink:
By the way, I know of of a lot of game that has been in the freezer for years:grin:
My BBQ is gone by Saturday afternoon:tape:

bassandbeer
01-24-2014, 09:39 PM
I'm considering moving up into a sanctioned comp this year. We want to do it to have fun. Been doing backyards for a couple years now. Will we get a call? Most likely not. Will we learn a lot, and have fun? That's why we're doing it. If it's not fun, it's not worth it...

Brandon87
01-24-2014, 11:10 PM
In Texas our comps are usually $100-125 entry fees. Most bring a generator and their own water source. Sometimes limited electricity and water hookups are available for an additional fee but usually not. Prize money is less, but it is cheaper to compete. Plus, there usually isn't a pork shoulder category and we turn in half chickens so you don't have to buy 8 chickens for 16 thighs to choose from like a lot of KCBS folks do. You can get buy with 1-2 chickens and less expensive overall meat cost.

bigdogphin
01-25-2014, 02:44 AM
When the cost outweighs the fun

BigBellyBBQ
01-25-2014, 04:35 AM
I raised my fees to add more prize money, to draw bigger names and to even the field on space. I honestly think fees can go much higher. My contest takes around 25,000 to put on.
If any type of contest is paid back only by the entrance fees then it needs to be reviewed. The contest has to be funded by LOTS of work that people do not see. Radio stations, local grocery store, feed stores, local biusiness that will benifit from the contest..they have to be involved, without spending all the promotors money. To get the sponsors is not fun however the crafty ones land them. But to fund by ourselves is not going to allow growth or even existance..it will turn into just throwing a party for ourselves.

Ackman
01-25-2014, 09:34 AM
It's a hobby, not a money making venture. My other hobbies include playing poker. BBQ is more expensive :becky:

Same here-figure I get no change from $1,000 per contest. I can play a lot of poker for that

Podge
01-25-2014, 11:25 AM
As long as I have the interest in being competitive in BBQ, then the money isn't an issue. When the passion is gone from wanting to win, I'll find something else.

rolfejr
01-25-2014, 12:11 PM
I treat BBQ like owning a boat, if you ever sat down and figured your actual costs per hour of operation you would sit down and cry.
When you figure your physical joy per hour of operation then you'll know why it's worth it.

bigsapper
01-25-2014, 03:54 PM
The thought of competing has entered my head a time or 2, but never investigated costs. Pretty sure it is well out of consideration now...

Wow! Was going to post the same thing after reading this thread.

Spend 15k to compete in a BBQ contest? :shock:

rolfejr
01-25-2014, 04:30 PM
Wow! Was going to post the same thing after reading this thread.

Spend 15k to compete in a BBQ contest? :shock:

Don't give up on it just yet. You can compete, successfully, on a small budget. Think Harry Soo.
It is generally the creature comforts that raise the cost of competition; multiple pits, toy haulers, commercial tents, larger quantities of meats, etc....
We have chosen the more intricate setup, but we could compete with a whole lot less.

Check out the Ironman Contest thread, that could be the wave of the future.

EMTTLC
01-25-2014, 04:55 PM
I've paid as much as $475 to enter a contest. Probably won't do that again. About $350 is now my top $$ unless I really want to go there. My set up requires a 50' site, so I have to pay for the largest site. Depending on travel expenses, I spend between $600 and $1000 per contest and do between 10 and 15 a year. My team is ME and whoever wants to tags along. I pay all the cost myself. The last couple of years I've been lucky enough to get a few calls and have a return on my investment of around $5000/yr. It's a hobby-period. I have a blast doing it. I have friends who play golf, fish, boat or restore old cars and spend about the same coin, so I feel ok about it. Guess I'm just trying to justify my expense.

CBQ
01-25-2014, 07:08 PM
We are winning enough to cover food, entry fees, supplies, etc. but took us a few years to get good enough to do that. We are not including the depreciation on the capital expenses like the motorhome and the cookers though. Still, getting a call at The Jack and The Royal, finishing in the top 10 in Sam's and 2 Smoke on the Water events ... How do you put a price on that?

The successes, the fun, the experience, the new friends? Worth it.

BrotherInArms
01-26-2014, 07:22 AM
I do it for the fun of it. I can't afford the Jambo or the Meadow Creek or Lang. But I wanted to try and see how I would do. And anyone that knows me can tell you that I only cook on backyard style pits ( the weber kettle, WSM , & a cheap offset smoker) .. I don't think that I've done to bad. Hell I've even done better than some of the teams with better equipment. My secret is I get a couple guys together. We split the cost of the entry fee the meats the ice the booze. And if we get a call and some prize money we split it equally.

CBQ
01-26-2014, 07:54 AM
[QUOTE=AppalachianAmericanBBQ;2779908]...anyone that knows me can tell you that I only cook on backyard style pits ( the weber kettle, WSM , & a cheap offset smoker) .. I don't think that I've done to bad. Hell I've even done better than some of the teams with better equipment. /QUOTE]

There are plenty of people winning with WSMs or a UDS, you don't need a Jambo to win.

With commodity meats, people should expect to spend about 600 bucks for a KCBS event. (Meat, supplies, entry fees) So it's not cheap, but it's not 15k either.

BrotherInArms
01-26-2014, 08:53 AM
[QUOTE=AppalachianAmericanBBQ;2779908]...anyone that knows me can tell you that I only cook on backyard style pits ( the weber kettle, WSM , & a cheap offset smoker) .. I don't think that I've done to bad. Hell I've even done better than some of the teams with better equipment. /QUOTE]

There are plenty of people winning with WSMs or a UDS, you don't need a Jambo to win.

With commodity meats, people should expect to spend about 600 bucks for a KCBS event. (Meat, supplies, entry fees) So it's not cheap, but it's not 15k either.

Agreed I need a jambo. I like I that everyone brings out all types of pits. I stay up most of the night checking my temps. No bbq guru. No computers. Just me and my pits. And when I do better than a big name team with expensive equipment I have already won. But just the fact that I am a low budget team out there with the big dogs is a win in itself.

TooSaucedToPork
01-26-2014, 03:34 PM
Wow! Was going to post the same thing after reading this thread.

Spend 15k to compete in a BBQ contest? :shock:

I assume you are talking about my post.

The $15,000 to compete is not a figure for everyone at Memphis in May. You can just compete for much less. The Patio division is $500 to enter and all you have to do is Ribs. If you own your tent, your grill, and don't want a huge party, you can do the contest for under $1000

We are not those people. TSTP has been doing Memphis in May for a decade. We have many members that come in from all over the country and the world for this contest. It is like nothing you have ever seen. We enter all the categories (11 plus if we are drawn for it, Kingsford Tour of Champions) thats 12 categories.

We enter with the largest available spot that opens onto the sidewalk 10 ft from the Mississippi River $3000
This spot is 26x50 feet with a rented 25x30 ft tent and a rented wooden floor. $3700
We have a DJ and a dancefloor
We have a full kitchen and Buffet for Lunch and Dinner that we give away to Members and guests
We have 2 rented porto johns for our exclusive use
We have a Full bar with 2 taps, Large double Margaritta machine, wine, liquor, complete with Bartenders...THAT WE CAN'T charge for...ie we give it away to our members and their guests
We rent $800 in electricity to power 1 large fridge, dance lights, freezer, cookers, work lights, PA system, fans, porto-cool, electric hot water sink, cellphone charging station, and various other things

This is half of what other teams do. Some build 2 and 3 story, multiple floor booths out of scaffolding...those guys spend at least $10,000 just for the scaffold...probably over 50-100,000 for the contest.

These are not normal costs, there are a few contests like this (Houston Rodeo, Memphis in May, Big Pig Jig, Royal) but most are easily absorbed by 4 people on a team.

You can easily do 90% of KCBS or MBN Challenger contests if 4 people throw in $150 each for a weekend.

sdbbq1234
01-26-2014, 04:12 PM
I assume you are talking about my post.

The $15,000 to compete is not a figure for everyone at Memphis in May. You can just compete for much less. The Patio division is $500 to enter and all you have to do is Ribs. If you own your tent, your grill, and don't want a huge party, you can do the contest for under $1000

We are not those people. TSTP has been doing Memphis in May for a decade. We have many members that come in from all over the country and the world for this contest. It is like nothing you have ever seen. We enter all the categories (11 plus if we are drawn for it, Kingsford Tour of Champions) thats 12 categories.

We enter with the largest available spot that opens onto the sidewalk 10 ft from the Mississippi River $3000
This spot is 26x50 feet with a rented 25x30 ft tent and a rented wooden floor. $3700
We have a DJ and a dancefloor
We have a full kitchen and Buffet for Lunch and Dinner that we give away to Members and guests
We have 2 rented porto johns for our exclusive use
We have a Full bar with 2 taps, Large double Margaritta machine, wine, liquor, complete with Bartenders...THAT WE CAN'T charge for...ie we give it away to our members and their guests
We rent $800 in electricity to power 1 large fridge, dance lights, freezer, cookers, work lights, PA system, fans, porto-cool, electric hot water sink, cellphone charging station, and various other things

This is half of what other teams do. Some build 2 and 3 story, multiple floor booths out of scaffolding...those guys spend at least $10,000 just for the scaffold...probably over 50-100,000 for the contest.

These are not normal costs, there are a few contests like this (Houston Rodeo, Memphis in May, Big Pig Jig, Royal) but most are easily absorbed by 4 people on a team.

You can easily do 90% of KCBS or MBN Challenger contests if 4 people throw in $150 each for a weekend.

Dang! Heck I wanna go just to visit you guys site! Sounds great!

wallace

TooSaucedToPork
01-26-2014, 04:36 PM
Dang! Heck I wanna go just to visit you guys site! Sounds great!

wallace

All Brethren are welcome to visit us or join the team. We also throw a free BBQ Brethren Mixer on Thursday that all Brethren are invited to attend :-)

BABYGOTBUTT
01-27-2014, 08:10 PM
I assume you are talking about my post.

The $15,000 to compete is not a figure for everyone at Memphis in May. You can just compete for much less. The Patio division is $500 to enter and all you have to do is Ribs. If you own your tent, your grill, and don't want a huge party, you can do the contest for under $1000

We are not those people. TSTP has been doing Memphis in May for a decade. We have many members that come in from all over the country and the world for this contest. It is like nothing you have ever seen. We enter all the categories (11 plus if we are drawn for it, Kingsford Tour of Champions) thats 12 categories.

We enter with the largest available spot that opens onto the sidewalk 10 ft from the Mississippi River $3000
This spot is 26x50 feet with a rented 25x30 ft tent and a rented wooden floor. $3700
We have a DJ and a dancefloor
We have a full kitchen and Buffet for Lunch and Dinner that we give away to Members and guests
We have 2 rented porto johns for our exclusive use
We have a Full bar with 2 taps, Large double Margaritta machine, wine, liquor, complete with Bartenders...THAT WE CAN'T charge for...ie we give it away to our members and their guests
We rent $800 in electricity to power 1 large fridge, dance lights, freezer, cookers, work lights, PA system, fans, porto-cool, electric hot water sink, cellphone charging station, and various other things

This is half of what other teams do. Some build 2 and 3 story, multiple floor booths out of scaffolding...those guys spend at least $10,000 just for the scaffold...probably over 50-100,000 for the contest.

These are not normal costs, there are a few contests like this (Houston Rodeo, Memphis in May, Big Pig Jig, Royal) but most are easily absorbed by 4 people on a team.

You can easily do 90% of KCBS or MBN Challenger contests if 4 people throw in $150 each for a weekend.

Man...I want to party with YOU!!!!!!

FatCoyote
01-27-2014, 08:17 PM
This thread seems to have gotten a bit weird, but if you would like to come judge practice Q on almost any weekend we are not competing in Austin TX. We would love the independent judgment for free. If you want to compete against us you will find us at most comps for 100-200 entry fee and 200-500 per event for sanctioned events. For not cut the cost in a 1/3 on the high end. Most of the time we are just a group that wants to have fun and a few drink a lot of beer or the like and take credit in the challenge..... have fun or it will be no fun at all. Kinda like a kids sport, no over zealous COMPETETIVE soccer moms without intense drugs allowed.... just my two cents.

INmitch
01-27-2014, 08:58 PM
This thread seems to have gotten a bit weird, but if you would like to come judge practice Q on almost any weekend we are not competing in Austin TX. We would love the independent judgment for free. If you want to compete against us you will find us at most comps for 100-200 entry fee and 200-500 per event for sanctioned events. For not cut the cost in a 1/3 on the high end. Most of the time we are just a group that wants to have fun and a few drink a lot of beer or the like and take credit in the challenge..... have fun or it will be no fun at all. Kinda like a kids sport, no over zealous COMPETETIVE soccer moms without intense drugs allowed.... just my two cents.
It's not weird. It is just showing what some of us do in the comp world. If TSTP wants to go to MIM..Good for him. Sounds like a hell of a good time. If I want to spend a chitload of $$ to go to different parts of the country to travel and see who doesn't like my food..It's all good. To each their own.
I used to fish the PWT (Proffesional Walleye Trail) $3-4K/tournament.
I dealt with a bunch of pricks that wouldn't even unplug their chargers after 10 hrs of charging to let you plug in (on community plugs). Yet drooling all over your wife while waiting!!:mmph: Fark em!! I love the BBQ folks!!

THAT'S what keep's me coming back!

TooSaucedToPork
01-27-2014, 09:48 PM
I apologize if I made things weird...I just thought more explanation was necessary about why a contest would cost $15,000. Maybe this is more in line with the original question.

Comp BBQ has changed a lot over 2 decades, but one thing that hasn't changed is the fun and the family. This sport has grown by leaps and bounds since I started in it and the one constant is it's amazing people.

If the people change, not even a free entry fee would get me to a contest. The fellowship and friendships we have are what bring us back year after year. Hopefully I will never have to make that decision.

Candy Sue
01-28-2014, 09:38 AM
I can beat the $15G. The corporate and some pro teams at the Houston Livestock & Rodeo contest spend 6 figures easy. It's all for charity and bragging rights.

Personally, when I won my only qualifier and spent the prize money (and some savings) on a down payment on the van, it was a commitment to keep cooking as long as I have to make a payment. I put about 10,000 miles on the van every year. It's easy to keep at it when I get to see friends like last weekend in Hot Springs. So, as long as I have (1) my health and can hook the pellet Geer up to the van, (2) the money to fill the fuel tank and buy the necessaries to cook, and (3) the passion to do this thing we do, I'll keep at it!

dhuffjr
01-28-2014, 11:24 AM
Entry fees approaching 400 is getting steep I think. I've finished 3rd twice overall without breaking even for that contest. The more you raise the costs the harder it gets to come close to breaking even.

Charge for electricity? Count on me bringing my generator. It has always worked and my plug can always reach it. We have a toy hauler so I'll bring my own water if your going to charge for that too.

I have a payment for the truck and trailer now that I bought because of BBQ.

That said like all the friends I've made in the BBQ world the trailer has had such fringe benefits beyond the costs. We've had some awesome times on the BBQ trail. Our family has had some wonderful times in the trailer camping and vacationing together as well. I don't count our trailer/vehicle costs into bbq.

Entry, meat, gas, misc supplies is it......and the $20 dollars of parsley...we can't forget that.