I'm currently researching on putting together a weekly (or biweekly) criterium series and our conversations revolve around costs and registration fees. While we can have payouts on the tail end, this may mean increasing registration costs (with resulting lower turnout).
The question posed is, "Would you register for a race that didn't have large (or any) payouts?*"
While we all would like a massive check at the end of a race, what is more important to you; racing your bike for no money, or not racing your bike at all?
At a minimum we have to pay city permits, USAC fee, USAC officials, insurance.
*assumptions being the registration fee would be low $5-$10, there would be nice prizes, safe setup, good course, and it would be a USAC sanctioned points race