CX nats. Missed opportunity?

First off I think the MFG team did a great job of bringing CX nats to the Seattle area. IT. WAS. AWESOME!
But I was curious if prior CX nats have charged an entry fee for spectators? (maybe this is normal and I dont know it) I had several friends who are into cycling and thought about going to watch, but seemed a bit put off by the entry fee. Of course as someone who is really into bike racing, not a big deal for me; but wondering if there could have been a bigger draw of causal fans if it was not there or was less.

Reno had an entrance fee 2 years ago for CX Nats. I don’t recall how much it was, but I wasn’t bothered by it. Yes free is nice, but for larger events I don’t think it is sustainable (at least in the US.)

In the first USAC Communique podcast, Lindsay Goldman talks about how they built the entry fee into the reg fee for people racing CX Nats this year.

Not sure about prior CX Nats, but I’ve been to other National events for other disciplines (cross country marathon mtn biking, cross country mtn biking) and I was not charged entry for those. I competed in the 2018 Marathon Nationals, but I don’t recall them building in an entry fee. I got the impression that was something new for this year’s CX Nats.

I think nats in Louisville was $15 or $20 last year. I heard that second hand though.

Obviously I think 90% of the people reading this forum have little or no issue paying $20 bucks to see the nations best racers.
I just feel like there are not many cycling options that are spectator friendly, that are accessible to almost all levels of cyclists. Cross and Track racing being about the only ones that come to mind, and track racing has some pretty big mental hurdles for most people to consider trying it.
Would have loved to see more people at the event and learning about how awesome cross is, and hopefully try it out.

I have to agree with a few points here, mainly for sustaining purposes but also big events such as these require permits, paying city/medical/police, etc support. If you really wanted it to be free, you could’ve watched online at least for the weekend races which is what I did for Sunday due to other obligations. And yes I normally don’t mind $20 as I did that on Saturday and was just blown away by the participation and level of excitement that was all around! CX is definitely a big staple here in the US and if we need to keep cycling events such as these going, maybe this is the direction. I don’t mind seeing road events much less dirt events take this approach if we’re to grow the sport again.

I don’t have any issue with it, but does any of it get passed on to the racers? Several of the local guys made the trip from NC and had good showings in the elite race- Travis Livermon in 12th as an unattached rider (!), Erica Thompson and Alex Ryan on the lead lap. Will they see any of that money to defray travel costs?

One word… Nope

Usac has not be shy about saying they don’t make a profit on cx nationals. And If we wanna be like Europe we need to charge for spectating.

They could have come out to the multiple races during the week or in the previous weekends that MFG/CXR ran races there or any of the other venues that have been free to spectate

I agree, to a point.
The fee was for the whole week so coming for Sunday or Tue- Sunday cost the same amount.
Again I love the work MFG and CXR and even Wednesday Night worlds does around here. I just wondered if a $5 or $20/car would have got more of the non core crowd out to the race.
I don’t want anyone to think I am down on the promoter or USAC. I know putting on a race is not free. It just seemed to me that there were as many spectators at Lakewood as there is at Woodland park each year. (probably just because Woodland Park is smaller so people are more concentrated)