Professional bicycle racing is big business in Japan. During the fiscal year from April 1957?
Professional bicycle racing is big business in Japan. During the fiscal year from April 1957 to March 1958 a total of $204,440,000 worth of business was conducted by bike tracks throughout the country.
Like horse racing, bicycle racing is pure and simple gambling. But bicycle racing its good aspects. For instance, 75% of the gross income from the bike tracks are returned to the bettors; 15% are retained by the various local organizations which stage the races to pay the cyclists, racing expenses, etc,; the remaining 10% is given to the local self government, that is the city or town governments located in the district where the races are held. The local governments then absorb the 10% into its budget which is spent for building roads, schools and to charitable organizations.
There are approximately 5,000 professional cyclist are classified into "A" and "B" classes. The "A" class is further divided into "Top" and "Star" classes. "Top" class cyclists earn an average of about $11,000 a year while Star class riders average about $3,000. The life of a bike racer is rather long. For instance, there were 1,300 cyclists in 1948 when it was first started. Today, 700 of the original 1,300 cyclists are still racing throughout the country.
There are 60 bike racing tracks in Japan today. Each track stages 12 races per year. The customers pay ?100 per ticket. (Approx. $0.30)
One of the most prosperous bike races in Japan is the Korakuen Race Tracks in Tokyo where an average of 20,000 customers attend when the races are held. The gross business per day is about $70,000 to $100,000.