How Much Does It Cost To Compete at Semifinals?

Over the next couple of months athletes will be heading for Semifinals. The events cover a pretty significant catchment area, being a full continent in most cases (half a continent in the case of North America’s East and West) and that made me wonder the kind of cost that would place on athletes who had made it through the funnel of Quarterfinals. I decided to do a little global comparison to satisfy my curiosity.

My first thought was to look at the most extreme examples in each region because it’d be salacious and provocative, get the people going. Instead I’m comparing a varied sample from each of the seven Semifinals. I also converted everything to US Dollars to make it easier for direct comparisons. It’d be no good trying to compare Euros and Dollars to Australian Dollaridoos.


Speaking of Australia, first up, I looked at Oceania.

Torian Pro, in Brisbane, is the event athletes and fans can look forward to in Oz.

Jay Crouch is Torian bound and he broke down his prices as follows:
Semi Ticket – $338; Flights – $250; Accommodation – $100/night.
Total: $1,107

Gracie Walton worked hers out as follows:
Semi Ticket – $338; Flights – $340; Accommodation – $50/night
Total: $919

Jamie Simmonds is coming from UAE having moved there from the UK. Maybe…maybe sit down for this one.
Semi Ticket – $338; Flights – $2499 ; Accommodation – $134/night
Total: $3,507

Contrast that with Brandon Swan who’s headed to Torian with Torian Mayhem for the team Semifinal. He lives half an hour from the venue and will be tucked up in his little race car bed each night.
Semi Ticket – $150 (600 split 4 ways); Travel – $30 fuel; Accommodation – $60/night for mortgage
Total: $420

For every Simmonds there’s a Swan, I guess.


Where would you like to go next? That’s a rhetorical question, we’re headed for North America West next on the Global tour for no discernible reason. Pasadena, California is where we’re aiming for, Go Bruins!

Brent Fikowski is making the not substantial trek down to the Sunshine State from the pasty tundra of Canada. Brent’s opted for an Airbnb with plenty of family room for him and the Fikowski Fam.
Semi Ticket – $300; Flights – $590; Accommodation – $260/night
Total: $2,190

Emily Rolfe is headed south of the border with her coach and husband Kyle who, luckily for Emily, happens to also be an expert bargain hunter with short arms and deep pockets when it comes to travel. He’s combined early booking of flights with hotel member discounts to carve out a handsome deal.
Semi Ticket – $300; Flights – $125; Accommodation – $90/night
Total: $875

Freya Moosebrugger is another Canadian headed for California and might want to consider bringing Kyle Rolfe on as a travel advisor.
Semi Ticket – $300; Flights – $520; Accommodation – $280/night
Total: $2,220

Kelly Kelly lives in California and will drive and stay in accommodation while she’s there.
Semi Ticket – $300; Travel – $300 in gas; Accommodation – $360/night
Total: $2,400

Mitch McClune has gone solo having found himself adrift of Invictus with a fire in his belly and, now, a rising credit card bill presumably.
Semi Ticket – $300; Travel – $350 (gas and parking); Accommodation – $200/night
Total: $1,650

I think we can all agree the take away from North America West is that Kyle Rolfe is the ‘rain man’ of travel and needs to start a side hustle as a thrifty travel agent.


Next up is North America East. Orlando, Florida is the destination for the east coast of the continent from the Canuks down to the most southern border.

Jordan Koloski is on CrossFit Southie White and will be making his way to Florida.
Semi Ticket – $160 ($639 split 4 ways); Flights – $425; Accommodation – $70/night
Total: $921

Anikha Greer is also destined for the same Semi in Orlando. After missing out on Semi Finals last year due to a submission issue, Anikha took the unprecedented decision to make some savings on travel to Semi Finals by moving to the host State before the location was announced, a bold strategy Cotton but it looks like it paid off.
Semi Ticket – $319; Travel – $120 for gas; Accommodation – $130/night
Total: $979

Carolyne Prevost is also headed for Orlando and for some reason didn’t make the decision to move permanently, probably just ran out of time or something.
Semi Ticket – $335; Flights – $730; Accommodation – $112/night
Total: $1,625


Asia is next on our whistle stop tour of earth. The bright lights of Busan await the athletes.

Ant Haynes is shipping out from Hong Kong and heading to South Korea.
Semi Ticket – $300; Flights – $700; Accommodation – $70/night
Total: $1,550

Shahad Budebs is also Busan bound from UAE.
Semi Ticket – $300; Flights – $1400; Accommodation – $70/night; Visa – $45
Total: $2,295

We’re really starting to get a sense of the level of investment required now.


Europe is coming, and, so are the costs. Semi Finals will kick off in Berlin, Germany at the end of May.

Emma McQuaid is first up for the Berlin crew, making her way over from Ireland.
Semi Ticket – $394; Flights – $220; Accommodation – $200/night
Total: $1,614

Dave Shorunke and Emma Tall are both making their way to Berlin, presumably holding hands because they’re a couple.
Semi Ticket – $394; Flights – $338; Accommodation – $242/night
Total: $2,427 combined so $1,214 each

Jacqueline Dahlstrom will depart Mallorca and make her way to Berlin.
Semi Ticket – $394; Flights – $220; Accommodation – $180/night
Total: $1,214


South America and Brazil are next on the whistle stop global tour.

Julia Kato is headed to Rio from a bit of a trek away in the UAE.
Semi Ticket – $300; Flights – $1600; Accommodation – $100/night
Total: $2,700

Alexia Williams is heading over the border from Argentina and explained financial problems facing her country are making it difficult to make the trip work.
Semi Ticket – $300; Flights – $900; Accommodation – yet to book
Total: $1,200 without accommodation

Victoria Campos will depart Rich Froning Way in Cookeville for Rio
Semi Ticket – $300; Flights – $1,500; Accommodation – $120/night
Total: $2,600


Africa is the final stop on our world tour

Kealan Henry paid around $2,000 for accommodation last year but, thanks to the location change this year he’ll save by staying with his parents.
Semi Ticket – $300; Flights – $1,000; Accommodation – just a hug tax from mom and pop.
Total: $1,300 (significantly reduced from his $3500+ bill from last year due to a change in venue)

Michelle Basnett, you might want to sit down again for this one.
Semi Ticket – $300; Flights – $1,400; Accommodation – $160/night
Total: $3,300

Initially what gave me the idea for looking into the costs was the discrepancy between Semi Final locations for cost of entry. Europe’s $394 versus Asia, Africa and North America West’s $300 seems unfair. I reached out to CrossFit and have, as of yet, had no response. I believe the difference is caused by local tax – hence Florida costing more for Carolyn than for Anikha for example.

When I purchased my own ticket for Berlin, I bought my flights and then realized a single day ticket for 3 days was a better option for me than a 4 day ticket as I can’t arrive until Friday. Athletes compete over 3 days too. It’s cheaper for me to spectate for 3 days than it is for athletes to compete for 3 days. Significantly cheaper. So much cheaper in fact that I was able to buy 3 day tickets for 3 people for less than the cost of one athlete competing for 3 days.
1 Athlete – €351 versus the 3 of us €330.

Some of the athletes heading to Semifinals will have teams of people taking care of their accommodation and flights, some of the athletes won’t give paying any of the costs mentioned a second thought due to sponsors and money earned through the sport. Some of the athletes are going to Semifinals for the first time, some have no sponsors, some are incurring all the costs themselves – loading up their credit cards. Many of the competitors are also having to take time off work to go and compete and are losing earnings as well as spending.

Maybe the athletes should compete for free? “We should pay for the Open and just see how far we can get” said Jay Crouch. Perhaps that isn’t a financially logical step for CrossFit trying to break even on a massive annual undertaking, but, surely brands involved in sponsorship are better positioned to be milked rather than the people who take part in the sport. Most of the people I asked also made reference to the fact that “however much Semis cost, it’s not as bad as The Games”. Maybe, if you’re a brand in the space, and you’re in a position to, it’s time to give someone a leg up. Maybe if you see someone, who you feel needs help, selling a t-shirt or fundraising and you can afford to, it’s a good time to support. Maybe, it’s time for less paltry prizes for Semifinals themselves.

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