See main article: Tips for Tournament Organizers.

Below is an illustrative example of a draft budget for a local tournament with 500 competitors. 

  • Venue rental (for example a local high school gym for one day): $10,000 in total
    • The basic school gym rental is often around $5,000 for the day. But venues invariably add additional fees for any additional features you want to add to the rental. Typically numbers like:
      • Another $1,000 if you want to allow food into the gym (to pay for cleanup)
      • Another $1,000 if you want the bleachers pulled out for seating (because bleachers need to be cleaned afterward before they can be stowed)
      • Another $1,000 if you want the use of the gym's locker rooms
      • Another $1,000 if you want the use of the gym's PA system
      • Another $1,000 if you want use of a nearby classroom as a holding area
      • Another $500 if you want use of the gym the evening before, for tournament set-up
    • The price for larger venues increases rapidly. One-day rental of a local expo center or coliseum can be as much as $30K-50K.
  • Tournament Insurance: $4,000
  • Sanctioning fee for the tournament's association: $2,000
  • Equipment rental (mats, the scoring system, VIP-area chairs and tables, etc.): $10,000
  • Computer rental and supplies, for certificate printing, registration desk, etc.: $2,000
  • Awards and trophies: $3,000
  • Professional Printing - tournament flyers, tournament registration packets, tournament banners, badges and badge holders, etc.: $3,000
  • Advertising: $1,000
  • Tournament consumables (boards for breaking, etc.): $1,000
  • Security and First Aid services - often in the form of stipends paid to off-duty EMTs: $3,000
  • Referee stipends, travel, and lodging as needed: $6,000
  • Hospitality costs - food for the VIPs, refs, etc.: $2,000

This tournament costs about $47,000 to put on. That's about $94 per competitor. If you charge $80 for the first event, and an additional $10 for each additional event, you'll probably about break even, since most athletes compete in 2-3 events.  That means (in theory) your other sources of revenue could be priced at-cost:

  • School and coach entrance fees can be low. (Say, two free coaching passes per school. $20 for each additional coaching pass: you don't want these to be too inexpensive because you want to control the number of coaches on the floor.)
  • You could sell the tournament programs at-cost. Figure 400 competitors probably means 800 audience members. If you charge $10 per ticket for audience members, then some of that $10 could be used to print free programs. (Keep in mind that sponsors and other advertisers can also advertise in the program, providing additional revenue.)
  • You won't need to take much of a cut (if any) from tournament vendors (hot dogs, tee-shirts).