Thursday, February 24, 2011

Weekly Poll #8 - Should the Nationals charge for admission?

This week's poll asks whether there should be an admission charge at the National Wheelchair Curling Championships.

Last year Kelowna decided not to charge because they wanted to encourage people to watch the event and spread the word.

The Edmonton organizing committee have decided to take a different approach. From the CCA website:


$50 Week Pass (includes all draws, Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Friday and Saturday Party entrance)

**Week Passes are HALF PRICE if purchased before March 1, 2011**

$10 Day Pass (includes 2 draws, and Friday or Saturday Party entrance if applicable)

$5 Draw (includes 1 draw, and Friday or Saturday Party entrance if applicable)

So this week's question - should spectators be charged to watch the National Wheelchair Curling Championships? Press the button on the right margin of the blog, that corresponds to your answer.

If you have an opinion on the Edmonton policy, share it in the comments below.

In last week's poll, 84% of voters felt that Canada would make the podium, 46% picked USA, 37% chose China and Korea, 28% chose Norway (smart people) and 18% picked Sweden. None of the others reached 10%.


tiger said...

I do not think they should charge.This group often needs help to assist them get into the club and make sure they can access the viewing area. Are they also charging for the assistant to come in. I would think so. Just would like to see lots of spectators coming to view this sport. If viewing area is limited they better make sure people paying have place to sit and enjoy the games.cemize

. said...

I think at this stage of the sport's development charging to watch is a mistake. It's doubtful much money will be raised, plus you need volkunteers on the door who'll have to distinguish between participants/helpers and spectators.

Fair enough to charge for functions - banquets and parties.

Bruce Cameron said...

Based on the number of "pure" spectators at last year's Nationals, if the organizing committee wud have charged they wud have been hard pressed to raise enough money to pay for the napkins at the banquet....but Edmonton is a curling city and things might be different. However I believe it shud be free for spectators to view.

Shane Malin said...

Interesting one sided pole. First you start of with the reasons that Kelowna did not charge last year. Then you don't present any reasons why Edmonton is charging. You then post information from the CCA website. Which has more than just admission prices for watching the National Wheelchair Curling Championships.

Why not treat the two fairly?

By charging for something you put a value on it, when you give it away you are showing it has no value.

$5 a draw is not expensive, but wait there are at least 10 round robin draws, 2 page playoff games, a semi-final, bronze and final game. That is 15 draws (not counting the possibility of tie-breakers), so if you bought the $50 week pass you are paying $3.34 a game. Now, if you were advantageous you would have bought before March 1 and the ticket price is 50% less, $25 for 15 games or $1.67 a game. With these prices, why are you even discussing this?

Did Kelowna give away free banquet tickets to anyone who wanted to go? I think not (although I didn't get a free ticket so I don't know for sure). Why include it in the pricing you listed other than to prejudice those who are reading.

Tiger states he thinks Edmonton is charging assistants to come in. Where does this come from? I would be surprised if this were so.

Bruce Cameron says if Kelowna had charged they wouldn't have raised "enough money to pay for napkins at the banquet". Interesting then, as 10 spectators all week would have raised $500. This is a decent amount when it comes to covering expenses at this type of event. I hope Kelowna got at least an average of 10 spectators.

Congratulations to the Edmonton organizers for telling Wheelchair Curlers that their efforts are worth something and helping to add value to the sport.

Eric, you are a great advocate of Wheelchair curling, by presenting things this way, I feel you are doing a disservice to the sport.

. said...

Fair comment Shane - I have removed the reference to the banquet and party cover charges.

I would love to hear the Edmonton rationale for charging admission - though you may have described it eloquently yourself.

As a philosophical point, I agree that things charged for may appear to have more value than those given free. I disagree that free events are perceived as having no value.

Because A appears more valuable than B does not mean B has no perceived value.

However I am not sure that the gain in perceived value will result in a larger audience, and audience size is what matters most at this stage of the sport's development in my opinion. But then I am not writing the budget. Nor am I counting on gate receipts.

It will be interesting to see how it works out in Edmonton.

Cathy Craig, Chair 2011 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship said...

Cathy Craig, Chair 2011 Wheelchair curling championship

The cost to the CCA for air travel and hotel accommodations for 5 players and 1 coach is approx. $380,000. By the time all of their other costs are calculated this championship costs the CCA almost $400,000, and there is no revenue stream.

The Edmonton host committee budget for expenses which include: ground transportation, equipment rental, banquets, hospitality room, complimentary breakfasts, entertainment, printing, advertising and promotion etc. is almost $50,000.

The contract to host this event was signed June 2010, giving us less than 9 months to raise this money. Most companies we have approached to sponsor have committed their funds well in advance of this time frame.

In order for companies to donate money for events, they need to see value. They need to see that people are willing to pay to support this event. If supporters of wheelchair curling are not willing to pay, why should a business with no ties to wheelchair curling be willing to pay?

Most of us live in our own little world, so we see a hardship to come up with $120 for a meal package that has 9 full meals, a victory banquet which costs $50, and a taxi ride to the airport for $60. What we forget is that 16 hard-working volunteer directors in Edmonton have come up with almost $35,000 in 9 months (still $15,000 short of the budget); they have found another 70 volunteers to help with the event, they have secured ground transportation from an airport located 45 minutes from the hotel and curling rink.

We have asked every one of our club members who have no tangible connection to wheelchair curling to give $100.

So, if a Canadian championship in wheelchair curling has value to you, buy your ticket early and pay only $25.