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In Reply to: 5 year direction of BBQ contests posted by Ray Basso on April 21, 2012 at 16:42:54:
This might be a popluar view, but....
I think it comes down to philosophy. If the goal is to grow the number of competitions, competitor/spectator participation in the events, and make it more lucrative for the participants one way to do it is to put some limitations in place to level the playing field (i.e. reduce expenses).
If the goal is to keep it an elite fraternity and make it difficult for new people to participate then the sky's the limit on spending money. Don't misunderstand me...I could spend a lot of money and continue to participate. I choose not to because I have decided to reallocate my resources to saving for retirement instead of spending money on bbq contests.
I wrote a blog post about this a couple of weeks ago and several people asked why I think RV's, custom trailers, $15,000 cookers are bad. I don't think they are bad. They are convenience items and in the past few years I perceive a race to buy bigger, better, and newer in the sport. Having A/C and a shower are a definite advantage.
I've been to contests with no running water, inadequate rest rooms, and no electric hook-ups. At the time, on of them was the largest contest in the State. Of course the guys in tents and utility trailers who didn't run a generator 24 x 7 were at a disadvantage. I'm not against it, but it was not a level playing field in any way shape or form.
I would like to see efforts to curtail the rising expenses in the sport so it continues to grow. Even NASCAR, the NFL, and NHL have put in rules to help reduce runaway expenses.
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