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I would like to share with the BBQ Forum what I consider to be an egregious act by the new KCBS Board of Directors (Board). I bring this to your attention not with a “sour grapes” attitude, but to educate all on how the current BOD handled our situation. A recent forum poll asked: how do big money events influence bbq competitions? The following provides an answer. Please do not take this as an attack on Ron Gates’s event. As a competitor, I would like to see more high-dollar events, but not at the expense of local events.
For the past two years, the Way out West BBQ Championship (WOW) in Stockton, CA has been sanctioned by the KCBS. In a surprise move by the new KCBS Board, WOW has been denied sanctioning for this year. The Board has ruled that WOW has “created a market saturation” by moving to the May 21st date shared by the Bakersfield, CA event. Yet, the Board found it appropriate to approve a first year, high profile event in Las Vegas (a location that is almost the same distance from Bakersfield as WOW, 250+ miles) for the same date. The fact that WOW submitted its application to KCBS nearly two months ahead of the Las Vegas event was apparently not considered important or relevant to the Board. Does this sound like favoritism for a big event? Hmmm.
Here are a few facts. At its January 2011 meeting, the Board elected to “table” approval of WOW until it discussed its concerns with us and the promoters of the competition in Bakersfield. After it did so, we were informed by several KCBS representatives and more than one Board member (both verbally and in writing) that our event was "99.99% assured of approval and the Board meeting was just an exercise in paperwork.” Now this part is even more important: a Board representative ( I will withhold his name for now ) encouraged us to proceed with development of WOW. Two days later, KCBS listed WOW on its Calendar of Events, which is reserved for Board-approved competitions. Needless to say, we are shocked and bewildered by the Board’s reversal on the question of sanctioning our event. The KCBS Board has misrepresented itself and misinformed us. We have hundreds of hours and a significant investment on the line as a result of the Board’s reversal. The KCBS response thus far has been, “sorry.”
In my view, there is no market saturation based on the team numbers and distance between the events. I believe there are more than enough teams in California (200+) to support all three events and suggest that the board has not taken notice of the increased interest and growth in the number of bbq teams in California.
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