YOU ASKED FOR IT: HOW MUCH DOES 2014 AMA SUPERCROSS REALLY PAY?

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pursemoney

Dear MXA,
    I’d like to know what the actual Supercross purse is. I never heard anyone mention it. Is it a secret? How much do they pay the riders? How many tickets do they have to sell to make the purse money?

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Updated to 2016 numbers: Obviously the Supercross series does not advertise its purse money because it is embarrassing for a sport that reportedly sells 50,000 tickets per event, but only takes the promoters approximately 3000 tickets (at $40 each) to pay the purse (and a $40 ticket for Anaheim 1 is a rare commodity — we’s guess the average Anaheim ticket to be closer to $65). Purse money represents $3.00 out of every $40 ticket. That leaves the remaining profit from $37.00 for the men in the suits.

It should be noted that the AMA Supercross riders did get a raise for 2016. It was a whopping 0.9% raise in the purse money between 2015 and 2016 (from $119,865 per event to $121,080). That $1215 yearly raise will be split among 80 riders and adds up to 0.89 cents per rider per event. We are positive that every employee at Feld Motorsports would love to get an 0.89 cent raise at every event. They would bank $15 at the end of the series.

Five years ago, the purse for the 450 Main event was $63,915. Today it is $66,950. That may seem like a $3035 increase in the purse money, but since the 450 Main event was increased from 20 riders in 2011 to 22 riders in 2016 the amount is really unchanged (because Feld simply moved the money from the Last Chance into the Main and those final two spots paid exactly $3035 into the main event purse).

MXA fully understands the costs associated with holding a major motocross event, be it a Supercross or a National. There is the chance that the weather, political climate or infrastructure will throw a wrench into the event—and the promoters will lose money. However, that hasn’t happened very many times in the last 50 years.

We would like the promoters to feel more of a kinship with the young men who risk life and limb for the fan’s entertainment. And, we believe that the AMA, as the sanctioning body that licenses both the riders and the events, should stand up for the welfare of the men they are supposed to represent—even as they are double dipping by taking money from Feld and money from the riders at the same time. When you get paid from both sides of an issues, as the AMA does, you have split loyalties. We think the concern of the American Motorcyclist Association should focus more on the “motorcyclists” who put their trust in them.

Do we think the riders deserve more money? You bet, but as with any job you are only worth what someone is willing to pay—and Feld doesn’t feel compelled to compensate the 450 riders any more than they did five years ago.

To the positive side, a dominant 450 Supercross rider could make as much a $205,000 in purse money in a single series? A rider who was 10th at every round would take $41,310 to the bank at year’s end. Even a rider who finishes 22nd in every 450 main event would pocket $24,055 in purse money? Would you be surprise to discover that a rider who finished dead last, not dead last in the main event, but dead last in the night program (technically 40th place), would still make $16,405 in purse money over the Supercross season? All of this assumes that they make it through the Supercross season.

Below is the purse money paid to every spot—this does not include the Las Vegas Final purse money because it is convoluted mess of different classes.

TOTAL PURSE PER EVENT: S121,080 (2015 TOTAL: $119,865)

450 SUPERCROSS MAIN PURSE
1. $12,000
2. $6000
3. $4250
4. $3250
5. $3010
6. $2780
7. $2630
8. $2530
9. $2480
10. $2430
11. $2400
12. $2380
13. $2335
14. $2280
15. $2255
16. $2230
17. $2205
18. $2180
19. $2155
20. $2135
21. $1620
22. $1415
TOTAL: $66,950 (2015 TOTAL: $66,950)

450 LAST CHANCE PURSE
1. Transfer to Main
2. Transfer to Main
3. Transfer to Main
4. Transfer to Main
5. $1315
6. $1265
7. $1215
8. $1165
9. $1115
10. $1100
11. $1057
12. $965
13. $965
14. $965
15. $965
16. $965
17. $965
18. $965
19. $965
20. $965
21. $965
22. $965
TOTAL: $18,847 (2015 TOTAL: $18,847)

250 MAIN PURSE
1. $3350
2. $2325
3. $1825
4. $1625
5. $1550
6. $995
7. $977
8. $928
9. $875
10. $865
11. $855
12. $845
13. $835
14. $825
15. $815
16. $805
17. $795
18. $785
19. $775
20. $765
21. $755
22. $745
TOTAL: $24,915 (2015 TOTAL: $23,700)

250 LAST CHANCE PURSE
1. Transfer to Main
2. Transfer to Main
3. Transfer to Main
4. Transfer to Main
5. $576
6. $576
7. $576
8. $576
9. $576
10. $576
11. $576
12. $576
13. $576
14. $576
15. $576
16. $576
17. $576
18. $576
19. $576
20. $576
21. $576
22. $576
TOTAL: $10,368 (2015 TOTAL: $10,368)

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