Track Profitablility...

Ted Hamilton

Design Drafter / Racer
So, we all know people run tracks because they love the sport, not because they are hoping to become the next millionaire Bruton Smith.... But I'm curious, what is the real profitability of a kart track on a weekly basis? Running some rough guesstimates:

Income - 80 racers @ $30/entry - $2400. Concessions, 100@$4 - $400. 50/50 - 60@$5 - $300. Gate fee - 50@$10 - $500....say, $3600
Expense - Lights - $200, water $200, Staffing - 6@$100 + volunteers, Concessions, - $200, track prep - $500. say $2000.
Net $1500 on a non-payout basis? That seems high, so I must be missing something... And my guesses are just that.

Just curious what the real numbers are... or a ballpark.
 

JPMKarting

Premium User
No one is running/promoting a track or series without making money...period. I don't care what they say, they are doing it for a profit. Maybe not the main reason, but definitely one of the reasons.

As far as net profit, it's going to be a swinging scale. I know at our local stock car track for example, there were nights that the owner put $15,000 in his pockets. There's been nights where he pulled money back out of his pocket.

As far as a kart track is concerned, I would imagine that a weekly program, the owner/promoter is looking to stick $500 in his pocket at the end of the night.
 
So, we all know people run tracks because they love the sport, not because they are hoping to become the next millionaire Bruton Smith.... But I'm curious, what is the real profitability of a kart track on a weekly basis? Running some rough guesstimates:

Income - 80 racers @ $30/entry - $2400. Concessions, 100@$4 - $400. 50/50 - 60@$5 - $300. Gate fee - 50@$10 - $500....say, $3600
Expense - Lights - $200, water $200, Staffing - 6@$100 + volunteers, Concessions, - $200, track prep - $500. say $2000.
Net $1500 on a non-payout basis? That seems high, so I must be missing something... And my guesses are just that.

Just curious what the real numbers are... or a ballpark.

First Tracks that run a weekly points program Entry fees are not $30 say AVG $20 and that's little high, Then they pay out 60 % to adults and Trophies to kids, Then as mentioned Insurance would AVG $4 per pit pass. Plus what they see of 50/50 might AVG $150 not $300, Trash is $50 per week, Porta pots $75 week.
 

mater

Premium User
Would racers pay more to run under a roof? No more rain outs and with wind blocks could race a longer season. Ive been kicking this around for a long time. And add a practice day say Wed. night to add a little cash flow.
 
All I can post id my experience of running my track
Income entrys $35X35 =1225 pit passes $15 around 80=$1200 no income from concessions. No money to be made from low kart count. No gate fee. Gate fee is a ripoff.
Expenses $1200 a year for 24/7 liability insurance for the year. Race day insurance(Pit pass)$412 Lights $175 Staff $450. Pay outs 796.25. Fee to the city $100. Track prep $300 Non of this includes equipment maintenance or paying for equipment it takes to run a race track. Volunteers don't exists any more,everyone want paid. Profit of $192 per race. That dose not include paying the 24/7 insurance. No real money to be made running a race track unless you rape your racers.

The tracks that don't pay out or put on a huge banquet at the end of the year are banking good money. Other wise unless you have 100 plus enrtys it just a little better than breaking even.
 

Brianf60

Member
Mortgage, tax, maintenance and up keep. I imagine it takes a lot of gross sales to make money. Some businesses have better margins than others.
 

foreverfaster

Premium User
if you don't already have the track, and a bunch of racers to be there.. you'll never make it happen. the track we run at makes their money on rental karts and parties. the only other way to keep a track going is through the sales of advertising. like 4x8 bill boards for $1000 -$1200 a season. $650 for 4x4. you sell 10 or 12 of these, it keeps the property paid for. OUTSIDE money is what makes tracks work.
 

1fasttiller

Member
Sponsorships are the key to a successful track. They don't make much money and aren't very profitable, thats why so many tracks are closing up and kart racing is dying compared to the days of old (Think WKA nationals back in the 90's)

If it weren't for companies like Vega, Burris and Maxxis offering payouts and other things to entice racers, these small dirt tracks couldn't do it. I really don't think anyone does it for the fortune to be made from it...

Now if you look at the BIG races (like Daytona) where they are charging $100+ for entry per class, yea those guys are making a killing. But your local Friday/Saturday night dirt track isn't...

Karting is shooting itself in the foot on a regular basis sadly... sure all these money races are nice. $500 to win, $1000 to win etc. but the average Joe can't even be competitive because the guys winning these are spending $3500+ on tires and equipment just to "Win"
 
Money races do pull the crowd away for sure, glad to see most tracks in this area work together this year and not try and race the same day. People will spend 2-3x what the winnings potential is, but complain that they can't afford to pull into a track for a trophy with a $25 entry fee. I believe in the predator class to build entry level and low budget racing on a Saturday night, but keep the $ out of it to keep cost down, trophy only or tires, prep, motors etc. to keep the money chasers out.
 
I volunteered for a year at my local track. It was a lot of fun, and I established a good relationship with a lot of the racers. I found it satisfying. That said, I’m going back to racing there this year and will pitch in wherever I can. I love racing and love to race and I figure there has to be some of us left that do things just because we love them.
We used to laugh about the track being a “not for profit organization “ when we were watering and prepping it.
 

Ted Hamilton

Design Drafter / Racer
Thanks for the input... I've contemplated several options, seems like land is the biggest expense, followed closely by paving, (if you go that route.) There's a local track for sale for $70K...owner will finance. But to put together a business plan, I was curious about some real numbers. Probably a pipe dream, but hey, gotta' do something once I retire! :)
 
Thanks for the input... I've contemplated several options, seems like land is the biggest expense, followed closely by paving, (if you go that route.) There's a local track for sale for $70K...owner will finance. But to put together a business plan, I was curious about some real numbers. Probably a pipe dream, but hey, gotta' do something once I retire! :)

With expenses listed above and adding to it $1000 a month for track lease IF you could draw AVG 60 Total entries per week, 240 Total entries per month it would pay for itself, That's with having your own concession stand. HOWEVER unless you can operate 12 months per year you would need to pay out of pocket Monthly lease and continued service accounts for the Idle months. Or draw enough over 60 per week to bank it.
 

Ted Hamilton

Design Drafter / Racer
Some tracks get the tire company "contingency" bonus too, but I'd prefer my track to be open tire and have companies pay racers contingencies directly. Tracks are too beholden to tire companies, and it should be a fight between tire co.'s for each racer's money, not dumb track restrictions that cause regional differences. No wonder people don't travel between regions, between differing clone, predator, tire, and other rules...
But I can see why tracks take the money...
 
Some tracks get the tire company "contingency" bonus too, but I'd prefer my track to be open tire and have companies pay racers contingencies directly. Tracks are too beholden to tire companies, and it should be a fight between tire co.'s for each racer's money, not dumb track restrictions that cause regional differences. No wonder people don't travel between regions, between differing clone, predator, tire, and other rules...
But I can see why tracks take the money...

Around here Pa NO tire Co gives bonus cash for local points racing programs, they give certain amount of product towards there year end awards banquet, The contingencies you mention is only being given to big money shows and big series races, which very seldom goes to the track because there are very few Money show or series promoters that own tracks they just pay to use the tracks.
 

Ted Hamilton

Design Drafter / Racer
Around here Pa NO tire Co gives bonus cash for local points racing programs, they give certain amount of product towards there year end awards banquet, The contingencies you mention is only being given to big money shows and big series races, which very seldom goes to the track because there are very few Money show or series promoters that own tracks they just pay to use the tracks.

Reportedly different down here in the Southeast, though I have no direct evidence. Maxxis has pushed Burris out, for the most part, though there are pockets of local racers that use whatever they want, and the UAS / RWYB crowd uses whatever they care to. I know Unilli was popular for a little, as were Kings, until both gained poor reputations...
 
The reason that Maxxis has take over at so many tracks is what they will offer the track. With Maxis only classes they will give you tires along with adding some money per entry. I have yet to find another tire brand come close. Open tire rules just mean you racers will have to have several brands in the trailers as they all like different track conditions. We this year went to treaded tires in some of our lower predator classes as our locals were tire of messing with tire prep. We have more new people coming in this year than the last 5 year. We went with the Hoosier treaded tires. Our track are all 1/5 mile tracks and our track will be cut down to a smaller track next year.
 
Ted, my observation is that historically most successful kart tracks are located near a large population center or in between as many as three population centers with the correct demographics. With your location will the $70K track draw competitors from Greensboro as well as Winston-Salem? Also, you should be able to look at the 2016, 2017 and 2018 financial records for that track to see what actual expenses were paid out and what the bottom line profit was for those years. Important also is the size of the track if it is dirt. If it is small, watered with a hose from the infield, and worked with a small tractor and box blade, then it will be cheaper to prep the surface than a large track that requires a water truck, full size road grader and some kind of packer. I do not know about your area but in my area dirt track owners who want a good surface go to their track every night after the sun sets during the racing season and water the track. They will not hold moisture any other way here. The water will simply not soak in when the sun is up. Think about that. Going to the track every night for months on end and driving that water truck gets old and expensive. Then, the water truck breaks down. If you have a water truck, community water will be too expensive. Does the track come with a pond that you can pull water from year round? When you are depending on the revenue to pay bills, it will rain.
 

flattop1

Dawg 89
Just a thought here but retirement and operating a race track for something too do.
You better retire now , the body gives up faster then the mind.
 
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