Homepage Forums Grassroots BMX Ideas, Innovations NBL sues track in NY for breach of contract.

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    Ah yes, the good old days. I was making mains, Kevin (the only guy with a last name more difficult than mine) would announce and when I didn’t make mains, Kevin would sometimes let me announce the Pros. And Bill was just as full of BS back then as he is now. 😆 Good times.

    As much as I’ve raced and know track operators, I know very little about operating a track. This idea of multi year contracts with the sanctions didn’t exist in the 80’s did it? When did it start? And what does a sanction do for the local tracks that gives them the nerve to demand multi year contracts anyway? Kevin? Janeen?


    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)



    In your opinion what is the likelyhood of bending Clayton to adopt the “olympic” 3 moto system of transfer?
    Quite frankly that’s the only thing I never did like and still don’t like about the ABA.
    As far as NBL multi-year contracts, I have 3 different stories from T.O.’s,
    A. A 5 year deal that must be resigned every year.
    B. A 3 year deal that you can “cross out and put what you like in”
    C. A year to year deal, apparently what CJBMX has.
    Why must this stuff be kept so hush freaking hush? All of us men who race would like to know what is going on so we can help make informed decisions.


    Actually Brett, an ABA track can run a Moto system instead of a qualifying system, you just have to let the ABA know you are doing it. The reasons allmost all of the ABA tracks opt to run the transfer system is that everyone else is doing it or it’s the only system they are used to.

    As far as the Contracts..”A” is Illegal..it is either a 5 year contract or a renewable contract, not both. Any first year Law student will tell you that one..or for that matter anyone that watches Law & Order can figure that out.

    “B” is also “la Toilette” You can not change the stipulation of a contract just by “Crossing Out and filling in” What is it?..a three year, or a renewable..same as #1

    “C” sounds more plausable..year to year..once the year is up the contract can either be “renewed” or discarded. Now here is where it gets tricky. Some of these contracts have built in automatic renewal clauses(Just like cell phone contracts) in them. The way you beat them is, lets say CJBMX wants to switch to ABA at the end of this season. Before the “renewal Date” of your contract comes up, attatch a “Declaration of Notification To Terminate Agreement” (Maybe called something different in NJ or elswhere) from you lawyer, notorized, to the contract for this year. Although you will have to finish the season with the NBL, they can not force you into the agreement for next season.
    I’m speaking from experience here, although not a BMX related incident, it happened to me with a credit card processing company and this is how my attorney told me to beat it. It worked.
    Different states have different time allowances, some may be as much as a year, others only require a 30 day notification, in my case it was 90 days. Also, the state that the entity, or BMX track exists, is the state where the law takes precedence, not where the sanctioning body exists.

    Just for everyone’s info, I’m not dishing out free legal advice nor am I a qualified expert, except in my own stated case, but most of this is common sense. Just the threat of a lawsuit is enough to force people to submit and sign. Fortunatly I’m not one of those types and I do enjoy a challenge. The last thing I’m sure the NBL wants to hear is “Talk to my Lawyer”..or worse yet, have an attorney contact them.

    Keeping things “Hushed” is a way to keep the “huddled Masses”..well,…huddled I guess. “The less they know, the better it is for us” type of mentality.

    Ah well..I gotta get back to work and….Law & Order is on!!


    Thanks for the answer Kevin. I don’t see anything there that the ABA does that is so wonderful that they should have the right to demand multi-year contracts. I’m sure the NBL does even less. Janeen? It appears to me a one year contract is appropriate.

    Perhaps they defend their multi-year contracts by saying it’s better for the riders, creating stability which would be better than having tracks switch sanctions every year but I say BS. It’s just a way for them to manipulate the tracks.


    Perhaps they defend their multi-year contracts..

    Sometime the best defense is a good…. 😉


    True Dave, but as I stated, there was never a demand of ANY contract on me at any given time other than the year to year schedule. Maybe if the ABA/NBL goes in and does everything for the track, IE: pays for the whole setup, builds and supplies everything, than yes, I would think there would be a contract..and rightfully so, wether ABA or NBL. That’s only “Business” and fair, not a ploy.


    The only time I could see a contract in place for any length of time, would be to recoup the start up costs of a new track. Once that obligation is over, well then, it is up to the sanctions to offer up a product that will keep the tracks affiliated with them


    Definitely, if a sanction supplied a lot to build a track then they have a right to hold onto it. Binghamton has been around forever so I would ASSUME the NBL doesn’t do anything for them that warrants a multi-year contract.


    Agreed, motion carried.
    I’ll tell you this.
    In 1982 or so, the ABA and NBL both wanted a piece of CJBMX.
    Carol Gleason said, ok…let’s see who’s got it.
    ABA ran Friday nights.
    NBL Sundays.
    I think she did this for almost 2 years, before they both said…which is it gonna be..
    She went NBL and the rest is history.
    Point is, a competetive market should determine who you go with.

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