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Thread: Why does the entry fee keep going up?

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    Why does the entry fee keep going up?

    And a better question is why do people keep paying it? I have been coaching softball for 15 yrs and travel for 7 yrs and the tournament entry fees keep getting higher and higher. It is utterly ridiculous what people are charging for 4 and 5 game guarentees. I have played in tournaments hosted by every sanctioning body and i have payed these insane prices before but no more! If enough teams stop paying these insane prices they will have to come down in price or stop hosting tournaments. I have seen just as many college coaches at the $500 to $550 "college showcases" as i do at the $700 to $850 showcases. We went to a tournament this year that was $900 and there were college coaches there but no more than i see at any other showcase? Some of these tournaments now want between $1000 and $1250 and you get nothing more for your money. If your girls are doing their part and emailing college coaches and going to the schools camps they will show up no matter where you are at if they are interested. The other thing i can't figure out is why do so many people pay for these recruiting services or shell out hundreds of dollars to go to these camps where there are so many girls your kid is barely gonna get seen? From everyone i have talked to and everything i have seen, is it not better to go to camps of the 3 or 4 colleges that your kid is interested in attending? Someone give me some input if they think i am wrong?

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    Re: Why does the entry fee keep going up?

    Quote Originally Posted by steve77621 View Post
    And a better question is why do people keep paying it? I have been coaching softball for 15 yrs and travel for 7 yrs and the tournament entry fees keep getting higher and higher.... shell out hundreds of dollars to go to these camps where there are so many girls your kid is barely gonna get seen? From everyone i have talked to and everything i have seen, is it not better to go to camps of the 3 or 4 colleges that your kid is interested in attending? Someone give me some input if they think i am wrong?
    I don't think you are wrong and agree that the costs have become outrageous, but you have a supply and demand issue here and the reality is not enough people are going to be willing to go along with a boycott to change things. The input I would give in regards to boycotting big expensive showcases is that it depends largely on what your daughter's goals are for college softball. If she is looking at multiple power-5 conference schools and casting a big net, the reality is that she will need to be on a team that will attend the big expensive tournaments. If Tennessee, Pitt, Purdue, Oregon and ASU are all schools on her radar then there are only a handful of showcases that are going to make sense for her. You could write those schools everyday and the chances of seeing them at a "less expensive" local Ohio showcase is slim to none. On the other hand, if your daughter's goals are more local and include D2, D3 options you are absolutely correct in what you are saying. Hopefully the girls that make up a team are close enough in ability and goals so that the schedule can be made appropriate for the group in terms of recruiting, competition and costs... not always possible though
    To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift...
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    Re: Why does the entry fee keep going up?

    Supply and demand. People are paid what they are worth. The people that put in the work and grow a tournament to where they can get a big entry fee are the ones that deserve the reward (if any).

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    Re: Why does the entry fee keep going up?

    Been saying this for years. 2 of the major costs of running a tournament umpires and softballs have change very little over last decade. Unless cost to rent fields for your tournament has skyrocketed no reason entry fees should. I remember the days of $275 tournaments. Someone making a bunch of money. How much is enough?

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    Re: Why does the entry fee keep going up?

    What rock are you living under? You have no idea the costs of running a major tournament.

    Sure umpires costs have gone up as have softballs, insurance, labor, rental fees, field dry, insurance, equipment, porta-johns, gas, fences, infield mix, maintenance equipment...on an on. Our entry fees have gone up 8% in 14 years. We keep trying to find alternate income streams to offset these increased expenses but with only limited success. The restaurants, hotels and convenience/gas stations that directly benefit from the tournaments have not been supportive in any meaningful way.

    The fees that teams pay support 32 fields and 17 community organizations that own and maintain those fields 24/7/365, not just for one weekend but for decades of community effort. There are more than 250 volunteers, 20 paid field workers and 90 umpires during my tournament (160 teams). Every penny that comes in; goes back to the softball community.

    Now that I look at it, I'm amazed that the entry fees are not higher. I'm sure that there are some money making tournaments out there but most are run as fund raisers for the local community/softball organization. We work very hard to provide an excellent experience at a fair price. Don't lump all tournaments into the same bag.

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    Re: Why does the entry fee keep going up?

    What rock am i living under??? If you are charging $700 + for your tournament then either you are being ripped off on field rentals or someone is making a living of the money made. Before you say i have no idea the cost of running a tournament you should learn your facts before just making stuff up? We host several tournaments a year and have never charged over $400? We have a fall tournament in a couple weeks and have already drawn 60 teams and our cost is only $300 per team? In one of our summer tournaments that we charged $395 to get in, we had 2 major rain delays and dumped over 75 bags of field dry and we still didn't lose any money? i have no problem paying $500 to $550 for a tounament for 4 or 5gg but there are more and more tournaments going to $700 to $900 for the same thing, if you go to any of the major showcases they are now between $1200 to $1800 for 4 or 5gg that is simply a rip off. The united states has had enough "BERNIE MADOFFS" and i am sick of people trying to exploit parents, young ladies, and organizations.

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    Re: Why does the entry fee keep going up?

    I run a Tournament that hosted 156 Teams over 5 weekends last season. Our Tournament is managed by 4 other volunteers. It is our main fundraiser for our League.
    We run a Rec. League that use to have 600 Kids in it. Now 325. My guess we barely break even now in that area. We do not run our Tournament to make a little bit of money. There is way to much work involved. Every dollar we make goes back into our complex that we maintain. Last fall we put in 2 new fields to bring us up to 7 Fields. Those 2 fields cost $265,000.00 dollars! Not Turf. Most people have no idea what it cost to maintain a complex of our size with the amount of games played on our fields. Do you know what a set of bases cost almost $600.00 dollars. We bought 4 sets this year. We bought new Benches this year that cost $4000.00 dollars. I could go on and on. I hope to make lots of money next year so I can improve our drainage on all our fields so when it rains 2" I can say we are playing!! I have no problem what anybody charges for their Tournaments. If a Coach or Team doesn't think its good value they won't be back.
    One other comment, There are many well run Tournaments out there, Coaches get out of your comfort zone and give your girls some new memories in different cities!

    Dave Myers
    Aunt Rosie's TD

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    Re: Why does the entry fee keep going up?

    I have seen many girls never play travel or showcase teams and make a DI and DII roster. Just HS and Club and attending showcase camps in the summer and fall. Not a lot of commitment to get a one on one with the college your interested in. Not the other way around. Sending emails, and short videos is more than enough to peak their interest. Follow up with each coach. Make them feel like you really want to be part of their team. It's your job to make them as excited as you are about attending their school.

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    Re: Why does the entry fee keep going up?

    Steve/Dave, You are doing great job keeping costs for the teams under control. At those prices you should continue to get teams to participate.

    I just wanted the readers of this forum NOT to lump all tournaments (and TD's) into the same bag. We are all not money grubbing shysters trying to make a fast back. In fact the vast majority of the regional tournaments are run just like yours. A few dedicated volunteers, some community maintained fields and a dry weekend: what more could you want?

    (My community built 2 new fields at costs similar to yours and it took us a decade to build and years to get it paid off. Please buy those t-shirts and support these community groups!)

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    Re: Why does the entry fee keep going up?

    Knowing what events to be in and what the value is, is key. If you see college coaches, the organizers are making reasonable efforts to make up games, schedules are being done in advance to help folks plan, than there is VALUE. Remember cost is simply what you paid. Value is what you get. I have no issue with a $2000 entry fee, if its worth it. Can't control weather I get that, but what you do after it rains? Do you have volunteers working on fields? Or do you lock the front gate and tell everyone the tournaments over? You can feel the difference between a money grab (IE getting to the GG) and a event where people are working together to put fields back together deep on a Sunday.

    The cost of these events is going up. Fact of life. If a ORG can get college coaches there for a $300 entry fee AWESOME! The real concern is what a team gets for that entry fee. I love the gate fee, pay and stay fee, the parking lot fee, the truney director dead cat burial fee, etc.. Just roll it up and tell me what the cost is. The nickel and diming after the fee is paid is what feels like a colonoscopy.
    Last edited by wow; 08-18-2017 at 10:04 AM.
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