Hosting a tournament has a ton of pro's: it's a great way to bond with other teams in your region, to establish your team as a well-run organization, and let's not forget - to make straight cash!
But let's make sure you've got your budgeting plan squared away so you can reap bad profits.
We walked you through the basics of hosting a ballin' party tournament, but now it's time to dig into how much all of that fun stuff should / could / would cost.
So, how do you figure out how much your event will cost to put on? How much should you charge for bid fees?
1. Estimate your costs
Start out by making a quick list of amenities you'd like to offer at your tournament.
At this stage you don't need to do any fancy thinking. Just grab a piece of scratch paper or open a fresh excel doc and get to figurin'. To help you get started, here's a rough estimate for how much things may cost for your event (assuming it's a 2-day tournament):
*We've used numbers based on our experience in Seattle, where prices are relatively high. If you're in the middle of the country, you can probably expect to pay 5-25% less for each of these categories.
Field Food: Our baseline field food consists of bagels, peanut butter, cream cheese, goldfish, bananas, and oranges. Nutella is always a special favorite too.
Saturday Dinner: Pizza or pasta will save you time and money, but make sure you put in your order at least a week ahead of time. Catered meals are always appreciated by the players, but they'll cost you more than a bulk order of pizza from Domino's!
Fields: This estimate includes painted field lines, cones, and other maintenance costs for field use. It's always a good idea to talk to the company you're working with about back-up plans for bad weather!
Party costs: Players who travel to fun tournaments always expect a party, and the quality of the Saturday night get together can make or break your event. If you're hosting a tournament for adults who are 21+, then getting the first round of drinks is always a good plan. Consider setting up a main event for everyone to get excited about like a costume contest or a team dance competition!
Centex hosts a very popular dance party every year! This photo's from Centex 2008.
Trainer: This is an optional expense that you can include based on the type of players that you're inviting. Chances are good that college kids won't expect you to have a trainer onsite, but club players (even the ones coming to party tournaments) will often expect some sort of trainer or medical personnel.
Miscellaneous: We like to include a small buffer in our tournament budgets just in case we run into some unexpected cost, which happens almost every time!
2. Don't forget about your connections
Okay, you've got an idea of what your costs might be!
Now, before you start booking field reservations and catering companies, we want to remind you that you have friends, and some of those friends might be able to get you a special deal on one of the items listed above.
Got a buddy who works at the local pizza joint? Maybe he can get you a special deal. Know a lady at the city parks department? She probably knows which fields are the best value in the area.
Everyone has different connections and resources, and if you think ahead and put in the work to find good deals, you'll be able to offer high-quality amenities at your event AND make a little money for your team.
You can also sell merchandise. Get in touch if you want to get custom gear for your event! (Email firstname.lastname@example.org!)
3. Make that paper
Okay, now that you have an idea of what you'll need to spend, you can start to calculate how much you'll make from this grand event!
You'll need to estimate how many teams you think you can get to attend.
(Pro tip: Promote your event to teams in the area by email and social media to get more attendees!)
Next, you'll want to set the bid fee. Depending on your expenses, we've found that $325 is a reasonable starting point for a bare bones event. (Disclaimer: this might be different in different parts of the country. Let us know your experience in the comments below!) If you're adding more perks like a dinner and/or a party, you have a good reason to charge a little more. Don't go overboard in price, though, or people won't want to fork up that much cash to come play. Try to keep it in the range that your team would pay to go to an event like yours.
After that, it's just a question of filling in all the costs to figure out what you'll make from the event. We'll help get you started with this downloadable Excel doc with a simple format for you to follow:
Right click + and select "Save as"
Over to you!
Do you have some advice about making a budget for your tournaments? Do you have some insights into pricing in different parts of the country (or world)? Let us know in the comments below!