To be frankly honest Dave, I NEVER remember signing a multi year contract with the ABA , even when I built Wyoming Valley BMX back in ’02, nor for that matter when I ran Cedar from ’85 to ’03. All I signed was a sanction agreement year to year, each time I put in a schedule…..let me rephrase that….the schedule in effect was the agreement for that year that you were abiding by the ABA rules/reg for the season.
When we built WV, the only stipulation that the ABA had was if they were paying for the dirt, we would pay them back “X” amount of $$ per race until the bill was paid off. We had the money ourselves so that wasn’t a problem. Nor was there any type of stipulation that we pay the track builder from the ABA, Kenny Allen, to build the track. The ABA even paid for the equipment that we needed..and I never saw a bill nor “Contract” in the mail. Even when Neil Allen came up to Cedar way back in ’90 and again Kenny back in ’97 we were never charged for it nor made to sign a “Contract”
The ABA I’m sure has changed things a little. In a matter of fact, talking to Bill Curtin the other day this topic came up as we were discussing the Binghampton deal a little. The ABA does not give the farm away as some would think nor do they have “deep Pockets” and everyone gets everything for free. To them, a BMX Track is a business and should be run as such..none of this “Non-Profit” just for kids BS I always hear. Even as a non profit you had better be generating income to meet expenses and to be able to put $$ back into the sysytem to make it better, or otherwise you’re just marking time until you fold. I was non profit at Cedar but back in ’90 the track grossed $45,000..all of it put back into the track..and it showed.
As far as what the sanctions do for the local program…I think, at least in the ABA, the tracks that produce, IE: new member sign-ups, get the goodies if there are any to be had, however, the ABA will help you get those new members as much as they can help you. We received at least 5,000 flyers, plus posters free from the ABA…they fixed our laptop (one of theirs that we bought from them)..their moto maker program is supplied to all the tracks, no charge..and they do have an “In house” purchase program if you should need a computer, however it’s on a payback system.
The insurance is far superior, or was back when I ran the tracks, than the NBL. At least in the ABA the tracks are covered 24/7/365, not just for the events..and the cost for that insurance I believe is only marginally higher than the NBL. That in itself is a big help when trying to get a property owner/township/city entity to let you build a track.
Now granted there are some things that the ABA can do better, or can take a lesson from the NBL. One is the state commissioner thing the NBL has going. In my eyes much better than having just one track director all the way out in Az to handle an issue at the local track. Actually back in ’90 thru ’92 the ABA toyed with this idea a little bit as they made me the first ever East Coast Representative..on the East Coast..where I belonged. It worked well for the ABA as I was the one that helped Bensalem convert over from the NBL, but the ABA thought it was still better to keep things “In House” and dropped the program.
Also, I’m not a fan at all of the qualifying system, I’d much rather see the kids race as much as possible even if it means running all 3 rounds and a main..so be it..they are there to race, not watch.
In closing, simply, the ABA takes the $$ it makes and RE-INVESTS that $$ into it’s operations, in turn being able to help the local tracks put on a better performance. Granted, as local track operators know in the ABA, and for that matter the NBL I’m sure, you have to do the leg work to get the kids at the track.
A professionally run national event circuit..I know, I was part of that for many many years as was Bill Hayden. Always the same people working the races whereever they were at (The old Cedar Crew!)
A fantastic computer generated registration system, always updated and modernized, the same at all ABA tracks..and comming in the near future according to Bill Curtin, the ability to Download the race right after you are done and send it to the ABA. I hear the NBL is still on DOS 😯 ? What’s with that?? This is the 21st century, not 1981!
Hope I answered some questions for you Dave…and I miss the looks of Hopeless frustration from some of the local track announcers that used to fumble your name big time while we were at nationals..or making Hayden laugh so hard while on the gate he fell over (Kingston Point)