2010 CrossFit Games Finals

Kids Under 12 are Free Spectators

Spectator registration is required for everyone 12 years old and up (as of the day of the event). Kids under 12 can attend without registering.

To keep attendance expectations reasonable, you can bring up to two kids per responsible adult. If you need to bring more than two, please contact your event leader directly to make arrangements.

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24 comments on this entry

1. Mike wrote...

I'm glad to see that the rules around the spectator fee are continuing to be relaxed. When I registered as a competitor, I discovered that I could bring one guest. Now we are allowed to bring our children.

Without any other reasons being given (such as to make more people on the sidelines volunteer instead of simply spectating, etc.), we are left to assume that the main reason for this is simply to generate revenue. I have seen lots of discussion on this point already with some stating that there is a need to offset expenses with this additional revenue.

A few points to consider:

- CrossFit WOD's are posted free of charge.

- The 2009 CrossFit Games videos have been released at no additional charge beyond the CF Journal Subscription.

- The 2010 CrossFit Games is going to be streamed live over the Internet (and I thought free but I stand to be corrected on that point).

Requiring people to pay to watch their friends and family compete at CrossFit sectionals or regionals flys in the face of this accessibility. I really can't see significant additional revenue being recognized from this to cover expenses. Those who were planning to come from our gym have said that they are no longer coming. That is really unfortunate for both who would have come to watch as well as for those competing.

At last year's qualifier in Eastern Canada we had a large contingent come from our box to support our athletes and it turned out to be a great community building experience with a few of the spectators coming to Aromas to compete in the Affiliate Cup.

I am hoping that this rule will continue to be relaxed out of existence or simply be abolished. HQ could easily say it was a mistake and look better for it.

2. gaucoin wrote...

While I don't mind spectators being charged a small fee so the affiliate can offset the costs of hosting an event I do think $25-$50 is a bit steep. The thing I don't fully comprehend is how that money gets re-distributed once it gets paid online in US dollars. That being said, CrossFit has given so much in the past it's hard for me to say anything negative about their decisions on such things.

3. Milk wrote...

That's my boy in the photo:) Thanks CrossFit!

4. brett wrote...

Cute kid, Milk. Love the haircut.
Glad to see I can bring my 2 boys as I they're a big motivator for me.

5. CraigH-Diablo CrossFit wrote...

Mike, your comment is as absurd as it is ironic. For more than 10 years, CrossFit has been providing you an incredible wealth of knowledge and instruction for no cost. Furthermore, fees to own an affiliation of CrossFit are ridiculously low given CrossFit.com's web traffic and general popularity. Hundreds of succesful small businesses have been created just by opening a small box with some equipment, a blog and the CrossFit name for a small affiliate fee. Additionally, you have been provided incredible access to some of the best strength, conditioning and nutrition coaching in the world for a $25 a year fee. Finally, through this blog and CF's amazing message board, you have access to an awesome network of like-minded athletes, coaches and business people that are eager to provide consul for almost anything.

However, all of the above is not good enough for you. You are upset that CrossFit desires to generate revenue for an event that is bigger and more costly than anything they've ever run. You claim CrossFit HQ somehow made a mistake and are not being congruent with their mission. As a business owner, I'd think that you could understand CrossFit's methodology. CrossFit is a business - and an incredibly generous one at that! And, just because 99% of CF knowledge and experience is free to you, doesn't mean you are ENTITLED to the last 1% for no cost.

6. LT wrote...

While I completely agree with what you said, I do feel the high price is going to stop many people from coming to watch this great sport. I know for a fact that about 5 people are not coming to watch me now due to the $50 spectator fee. While for me $50 is acceptable because I breathe Crossfit, for them it is extremely high because they do not have the same desire that I have. I hope the spectator turn outs at all the sectionals are unbelievable!! Good luck to everyone!

7. Justin Key wrote...

CraigH-Diablo Crossfit..... WELL SAID :-)

8. CraigH-Diablo CrossFit wrote...

LT,

I don't think you're passionate enough, nor do you see enough value in this "great sport." If you were and did, the $25 a day would be an easy sell to your friends and family.

Here's an idea: since you think CrossFit should subsidize the cost of your friends, perhaps you could.

9. Pepe wrote...

Again with this?

Do I wish the sectional fee was cheaper? Yes.
Do I wish all of my friends could come for free? Yes.
Am I a cheap bastard? Probably.
Does it make me a bad person? Probably not.
Are green booty shorts awesome? Yes.
Are faux hawks on kids awesome? Debatable.

Just a few of my opinions, maybe someone could let me know that I'm being ungrateful or try to change my opinion on green booty shorts.

10. Staid wrote...

# 8 earned a belly laugh. All this nonsense over a fitness program. Way to fly the elite-flag Craig. Not passionate enough. Us vs them, gang member talk. Silly consumers.

11. Jeff wrote...

I have to agree with the green booty shorts... and just think if you pay a small fee of $50 you might not only see green booty shorts, but red, blue, yellow, and wide range of colors. I am in!!!

12. Milk wrote...

Hey Shelly, they're talking about your booty shorts. Looks like you need to wear them more often.

13. Mike wrote...

Craig,

As I mention in my post and you in yours, CrossFit provides us with a great deal of valuable information etc. at little or no charge. I agree with you on this and am extremely thankful to CrossFit and specifically the Glassmans for it.

I have absolutely no problem paying CrossFit for the value I receive. Myself and the other co-owner of our gym have reinvested the bulk of our earnings into various certs. These have all been incredible with great instructors but when you factor in the travel cost from our part of the world this has not been cheap (and definitely more than "1%").

However, in many cases, this spectator fee is being levied against those who are not even in CrossFit (family and friends) or just new to it.

This is a big jump from last years qualifier spectator fees ... I'm just wondering why.

14. J wrote...

So do we in CrossFit just complain about EVERYTHING now? I registered for the Arnold as a spectator, and I'd pay double what I paid to see my friends compete. And I'm a poor college kid. If you can't afford it, don't go. Updates will be posted online, I'm sure. Not everything is a conspiracy to screw over the community.

15. CraigH-Diablo CrossFit wrote...

#8, Staid: glad to make you laugh. Wait..were you laughing with me or laughing at me? I don't take myself too serious, so ok either way.

As a very experienced business person with 46 years behind me, I have a tendancy to want to "educate" neophytes suffering from entitlement syndrome, i.e., "I went to a bunch of Certs and invested all my money in my box, so CrossFit owes my friends cheap tickets to the Games."

16. seal wrote...

Does anyone know when the orange county sectional is going to become final instead of tentative?

17. Jesse Gray wrote...

CraigH, do you think it's possible that people see Crossfit as a very community based organization and that while charging a spectator fee is certainly reasonable, charging $50 for a weekend is just a bit much? I understand that Crossfit is a business but it is a business that is incredibly social and community based and it has built itself on a foundation of being low cost and openly accessible to all. Something about charging this much feels a bit greedy even if that's not the case. It may very well be that they need to charge this much to limit entry into events where space is tight or to cover the cost letting in lots of people for free. I don't know but you can look at other events comparable to a sectionals and see that none of them charge anything close to that much. In a couple weekends the Orange County Crossfit smackdown (http://octhrowdown.eventbrite.com/) is being held at a 12,000sf facility, they're only charging $10 for a two day pass for spectators. I can't see how a sectional really needs to charge 5 times that amount.
So, HQ may have perfectly good reasons for charging that much but you shouldn't bite someone's head off for making a reasonable complaint. In fact, as a "very experienced business person", you should know the value of complaints. People who complain help make businesses better, they let you know what your customers like and what they don't like. Suggestion boxes exist for a reason. A lot of people have been complaining here and I think HQ has taken notice and made some changes. Along with my confirmation email I got a note saying that if people wanted to come and they had some money issues, HQ would do their best to accommodate them, later, we get this post saying kids under 12 are free. See, HQ is listening and they are doing the right thing and we are doing the right thing by letting them know when we have an issue with something. This is basic marketing/customer service. Good job HQ! Thanks again for all the hard work.

18. Bridget wrote...

Well said, Jesse Gray. I train high school teens and I have some that come and go, and a core group that have definitely drank the kool-aid. They feel they are not ready for competition yet and I can't afford to pay the $50 for each of them. I have deep respect for CrossFit, I try to give back where I can. I train the teens at a deep discount, give a lot of rides to and from the gym, buy meals (paleo!) and on and on. I know that I am not the only coach doing this. I think it is VERY valuable for them to watch the other athletes this year and plan on competing next year. And the fact that they want to be part of our commmunity of focused hardworking supportive crossfitters is so great! These teens are truely our future, the future of CrossFit. Let's not keep them away because of something dumb like $$.

19. smart wrote...

someone write a letter to the white house. maybe obama can pass some legislation to pay for everyone that can't afford the spectator fee.

20. CraigH-Diablo CrossFit wrote...

Smart gets it.

Bridget, if these teens (and you) are our future, then why not teach them about the value of earning money to pay for things. If you or they really don't have $50 to pay for this two day event(though, I'm very suspect) then organize a charitable event to pay for this event. Why teach these teens that if they complain enough they might get in for free?

You incredibly stated: "Let's not keep them away because of something dumb like $$."

Don't you really mean: "Let's not keep them away because of something dumb like MY $$"?

And Jesse, there is a HUGE difference between saying on the blog: "spectator fees are too high and may be a deterrent to attendance" and what Mike said, which was essentially, "CFHQ should admit it made a mistake and abolish or reduce fees because our friends are upset about the cost."

Meanwhile, over the next few days, many of the same downtrodden friends and family will attend numerous College or Professional Football Games or Soccer Matches - or go to a bar and watch the same events and spend $50 - $200 on tickets, alcohol and food to do so. And, between now and the time of the events, I suspect that some of these poor, unfortunate teens and children will likely spend $35 - $50 on cell phones or video games for their DS's or XBoxes.

Finally, I implore you to please consider the cost, time and human capital required for all of these events:

Securing the the venues, paying for the venues, the insurance, purchasing & borrowing equipment, delivery & setup of the equipment, securing the equipment overnight, portable toilets, managing and updating the blogs, ticket registration, event security, permits, coordinating & managing & training the volunteer staff, setting up the event, parking, concession management, dealing with vendors, running the event, registering participants, tracking & timing of participants, media support for the events, registering spectators, setting up spectator seating & viewing, providing EMT service, and more.

If you believe in CF & what it has done for you and your friends and clients, then have some faith that CFHQ will continue to do the best thing for CF & its community. But, if you still think spectator tickets are not worth the value recieved, then say that, but be prepared to hear from many people that will dispute you.

However, do not lament that CFHQ is gouging or profiteering unless you have significant experience hosting or organizing events like these and can prove it - because its far from the truth. All other requests for lower fees (in keeping with the community & CF philosophy, etc) simply sound like entitlement requests.

21. Jesse Gray wrote...

Well Craig, I did consider that and I gave a good example of a virtually identical event that charged far less money for both spectators and athletes (for the record, I don't have any problem with the athlete fee). In addition, I do have considerable event hosting experience. Charging big spectator fees for this type/size of event is pretty unheard of. The way Mike (and many, many others) responded/complained is totally fair and to a certain extent, HQ seems to have listened and responded accordingly. As far as comparing a Crossfit sectional to attending an NFL or FBS College football game, I think we both know that's an apples to oranges scenario. The sectionals are much closer to something like a high school track and field championship in terms of number of participants, spectators and cost of facilitation. If NFL games were played by your friends and workout buddies, run almost entirely by volunteers and held in places like high school gymnasiums I think many people would balk at paying current ticket prices. While the community aspect of Crossfit is certainly valid, I believe the reason for complaining over the high prices has more to do with value for money than a sense of entitlement. If you charged parents $50 to attend their child's school play, all the parents would go to see it and you might even sell the event out but they would not be happy about it. This isn't about work ethic or entitlement, it's about charging a community too much because you know they'll pay it.

22. CraigH-Diablo CrossFit wrote...

Jesse, I bet that you'd agree that we have spent far too much time on this discussion. Being on vacation has afforded me too much computer time. Your points have some merit and I appreciate your thoughtful response.

However, I will debate that the lower spectator price OCCF charged doesn't mean they covered their costs. Furthermore, the Sectional events will be much larger on many levels (media, spectators, registration, and so on) and CF has a hell of a lot more liability risk than OCCF. Breaking even is likely not worth the tremendous effort.

Finally, just because a handful of blog followers complained about high prices, and CF allowed kids under 12 for free does not validate claims that CF was "wrong" or was engaging in unfair profiteering or violating their mission. Again, the scale and potential liability (to CF.com) are significant.

I guess I'm mostly disappointed that so many who benefit from CF for life for so little cost are quickly willing to attack CF for charging a moderate fee for an elaborate event that many want to participate in or watch.

Personally, I wouldn't undertake the task unless I could earn a decent return on my captial and time investment to warrant the huge amount of work and potential liability.

23. Mike wrote...

Excellent points Jesse. I have also run a number of events this size and agree with your analogy.

None of this should be perceived as an attack on HQ - it is simply feedback which I was glad to see them accepting (as evidenced by allowing kids under 12 to attend for free and the email referenced by Jesse).

24. Sammy wrote...

Everyone needs to slow down.
Yes, Crossfit is a gift. Yes, we are lucky to be enlightened. And yes, some of you think you are God's gift to the world because you wear weighted vests. The beauty of Crossfit is that it is intense, but doesn't have to be exclusive. There will always be people who need to modify WODs, but still believe passionately in Crossfit.
HQ needs to remember that small Crossfit business owners have exponentially grown the awareness and participation in the sport. This is not just because of the five top athletes in their gym. It's also the forty-five plus other people who come to do a dedicated Crossfit workout from a referral or a visit to the games. A high fee to enter "The Games" is ten steps backwards for Crossfit. Accessibility changes; attitudes change. And most important, our athletes don't get the support they deserve. High fees send a clear message of an exclusive, private club. That is not my understanding or experience of Crossfit in my gym.
And to all you passionate taxmen: Don't you dare call people cheap for not paying such a high entrance fee!!!! Keep the sport and games what they are supposed to be! Great athleticisim, sportsmanship, and accessibility to strength, dedication and endurance!

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