2024 Fee Increases
In 2024, we’re facing the need to adjust our fee structure due to several pressing factors. These include widespread inflation, heightened expectations for quality and service, the aging state of our infrastructure, changes in regulatory and HST requirements, and rising costs from Rugby Canada and Rugby Ontario union dues, referee fees, and particularly, skyrocketing insurance expenses. Additionally, our club has a specific goal to bolster our Capital Fund, supporting the replacement of our clubhouse within the next 7-10 years.
Our board and club members tirelessly strive to minimize costs, maintaining our core principle of financial accessibility for rugby. Currently, up to 57% of our player membership dues at registration go directly to Rugby Canada and Rugby Ontario, a significant increase from less than 15% two decades ago. This shift is due to the unions’ substantial rise in dues and our efforts to keep overall member costs manageable. Notably, our club’s fees remain considerably lower than other regional sports programs, which can be up to 250% more costly.
Historically, we’ve supplemented our rugby activities through bar revenue surpluses. However, since 2019, we’ve diversified our revenue streams, increasingly relying on off-season programs, sponsorships, and grants to bridge the growing financial gap in our primary rugby offerings. With rising expectations for program quality and a nationwide decrease in volunteer availability, these additional funds have become crucial.
Therefore, in 2024, we will implement a general increase in dues and introduce a Capital Fund Levy. This will significantly contribute to our existing $140,000 Capital Fund, primarily financed by our successful camps and newer programs. Our annual budget aims to generate a 10-15% surplus, a portion of which will consistently feed into our Capital Fund.
We assure you that our club is actively seeking alternative funding sources, managing expenses, and advocating for reduced union fees to keep our membership dues as affordable as possible. While staying true to our rugby heritage, we must adapt to our financial situation, changes in demographics and lifestyle, and evolving community expectations. Our commitment to the club’s long-term sustainability and growth is unwavering.
Chris Tudor Price
President, Crusaders Rugby Club