ASK THE MXPERTS: WHERE IS THE $10 MILLION OF PROMISED PURSE MONEY ACTUALLY GOING?
I watched the Supercross races every Saturday on Peacock, and I’ve never heard the announcers mention how much money the riders were being paid. I mention this because Feld and MX Sports made a big deal about the $10-million-dollar increase in purse money for the combined 2023 Supercross and motocross seasons. I’m thinking that because the announcers never mention it and no one ever holds up a giant check like they used to in the good old days, that perhaps the $10 million dollars was just so much smoke. Where is the $10,000,000 going?
The top 40 riders in the Supercross night show and in the outdoor Nationals have always been paid, but it wasn’t enough to brag about. The top factory riders have big-money salaries, giant win bonuses, and lucrative sponsorship deals. The rest of the field is lucky if they make enough money to get to the next race. For 2023, the SX and Motocross promoters did vow to pay $10-million-dollars in purse money.
That is an impressive dollar amount and should add greatly to the weekly payout, but it won’t add $10 million dollars to the purse structure as simple math would suggest. First of all, the $10,000,000, if divided evenly between the 31 races on the 2023 schedule, would be a $325,000 purse per round. We can tell you right now that isn’t going to happen. Why not? Feld and MX Sports did come up with a $10-million-dollar purse, but the money isn’t paid out in the way that most people expected. The big money isn’t loaded into the regular Supercross or AMA National rounds. The majority of it has been set aside for the three-race SuperMotocross (SMX) play-off system.
To get to to the promised $10 million, the promoters counted the existing combined 2022 Supercross and AMA National purse money and added 1.1 million dollars to it to come up with a $4.5-million-dollar purse for the 17 races of the 2023 Supercross Championship and 11 races of the 2023 AMA National Motocross Championship. It should be noted that unlike in Supercross the National organizer, MX Sports, does not pay the AMA National purse money. The National purse money is paid out of the pockets of each AMA National track owner.
The remaining $5.5 million, after you deduct the $4.5-million-dollars from the 2023 Supercross and National payouts, adds up the promised $10 million in purse money. The $5.5 million is poured into the three playoff rounds of the late-season SuperMotocross Championship finales. This should be really lucrative, because only the 20 selected playoff riders in both the 250 and 450 classes get to split the $5.5 million dollars between them.
The simplest answer to your question is that the winner of an AMA Supercross in 2022 was paid $12,000, and in 2023 the winner makes $14,000. For comparison to the World Supercross Series (WSX), Eli Tomac was paid $42,850 for his win at the Cardiff World Supercross round. And at the 2023 AMA Nationalathe winner makes $6000 (if he wins both motos). When the three race SuperMotocross Championship happen in September, the winner of each round wil make $150,000.
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