2019 Lead Truck Auction Details (AND A CHANGE TO THE FINALS HEATS)

The BAA is once again holding our lead truck auction this year!  It’s the one chance you (or a, parent, a spouse, a friend, or any buggy fanatic in your life) have of being right in the middle of the action on Raceday. You’ll sit in the back of the lead truck for whatever race(s) you can win!  Proceeds help with all the costs of putting on such a spectacular Raceday, including the BAA’s sponsorship and various broadcast and other improvements.

The auction will go live on Monday morning (and don’t worry, we’ll post about it here).  Most things are the same as last year (and a description of how it works is below), but first we wanted to highlight the main change this year, and explain how it’s going to work.

MAIN CHANGE: FINALS AUCTION – PARTIALLY ONLINE, PARTIALLY LIVE: The main change is about the Finals Heats, which this year will be held partially online, and partially live.  After a trial run last year, we are once again going to hold a live, in-person Finals Lead Truck Auction.  But unlike last year, where the live auction started from scratch, this year bidding for the Finals heats will begin online and the starting bids at the live auction will be the final bids placed online when the online auction closes.  So when you go to place bids on Monday, you’ll see both preliminary heats and finals heats.  The way it will work is as follows:

  1. In addition to the preliminary heats, the online auction will include the ability to bid on your choice of Finals Heat. There will be separate auctions for each “choice” – So you can bid on the 1st Choice for Men’s Finals, 2nd Choice for Men’s Finals, 1st Choice for Women’s Finals, etc.  This is the same as how the auction was handled from 2015-2017.
  2. The leading bids for the Finals Heat choices when the online auction closes on Wednesday night will be contacted, but you have not won yet! You will choose which heat you want to apply your bid to.  Your leading online bid will then become the starting bid for that heat during the Live Finals Auction on Friday Night.
  3. For those who were the leading bids for selctions #2-5, you will be able to choose which heat to apply your bid to from the remaining heats (so if the first choice chose Heat #5, the second choice can only choose Heats 1-4)
  4. On Friday Night, the bidding for each heat will begin at the starting bid. If no one outbids that starting bid during the live auction, then the person who placed the leading bid online is the winner of that heat!  (So you don’t actually need to attend the live auction to win a heat at the live auction – we will contact you as soon as the bidding ends).  But if someone at the live auction outbids the starting bid, then the highest bid made at the live auction will win the heat.  So if you want to make sure that you win your heat, you’ll want to attend the event!

For those with leading bids on Finals Heats at the end of the online auction, we will contact you once the auction closes.  You are welcome to choose your heat then – Either by team (“I want SDC A!”) or by heat (“I want Heat 5!”) – if you already know what you want.  But you are welcome to wait until the Finals heats are determined on Friday.  We will reach out again after the heats are determined, either by email or text message, to get your final selection.

I’m sure you’ll have questions about how this all works – Feel free to post in the comments here, or send me an email at bryan.arsham@cmubuggy.org and I’ll address it.

LIVE AUCTION DETAILS: If you’ve been following along here or you’ve already registered for Carnival, you probably already know, but for those who don’t, the Buggy Recap and Finals Auction will once again take place at Hough’s Taproom, 563 Greenfield Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15207, on Friday Night.  The event starts at 7, but the auction will likely begin around 8-8:30, so please make sure to arrive by 8pm if you want to participate in the auction portion.  But even if you don’t want to bid, still come!  It’s a bar, there will be food, and we have a laptop and projector that will ultimately end up playing everyone’s favorite races and random buggy videos from the past 20+ years!

ADDITIONAL COMMENTATOR FOR A HEAT: The other change this year is that our “Unique Experiences”, and particularly the “Broadcaster for a Heat” prize, was a hit last year!  So this year, we’re going to expand it slightly – We will auction off 2 “Broadcaster for a Heat” prizes; one for Men’s heats and one for Women’s heats.  If you have a particular organization that you want to be in the booth for, we will try to accommodate you as best as possible.  Please be aware that radio broadcast standards will apply to your commentary (in other words, please keep your commentary G rated).

As for the online auction (the Preliminary Heats, the initial bids for the Finals heats, and the Commentator prizes), here’s how the Auction works:

  • Just like last year, we will run the auction on a third-party website. You will need to create an account with the auction site, and you can set up email alerts if you are outbid. Each heat will have a $10 minimum bid. The minimum bidding increment is $1. You may specify a maximum amount you wish to bid for any heat. Then, the site will automatically increase your bid in $1 increments as needed until your maximum is exceeded by someone else.
  • There will be separate auctions for each heat of Day 1, and picks for finals heats will be split up into multiple items meaning that you will be able to bid for multiple finals picks. For example, you could bid separately for 1st pick of the men’s finals and 2nd pick of the women’s. This will also allow you to potentially win multiple finals heat picks, though for the sake of inclusiveness we encourage you to only bid for one of each men’s and women’s picks.
  • Bid as much as you want, as often as you want until the auction closes at 11:00pm ET on Wednesday, April 10.
  • We will send out an email to the winners, along with instructions on how to collect your winnings.
  • On Raceday, check in WELL BEFORE your heat at the BAA tent between Hill 2 and the Finish Line and sign the waiver. For commentators, we will provide you with additional instructions for when and where to meet.  For truck winners, you must be in the lead truck on Hill 1 before the start of your heat. If you’re late, then you miss your chance. The BAA cannot be the cause of delays.
  • Lead truck rides are transferable. If you can’t be in town or don’t like trucks, or you think your parents or friends mike like to try it out, feel free to bid on an auction and then tell us who gets to take the ride. You can also just will it to your organization of choice and we’ll let the lucky team pick who gets to ride. All riders must be at least 18 years old.

If you have any questions, be sure to email Bryan at bryan.arsham@cmubuggy.org or comment below, we want to address as much as we can before the auction.

We are, of course extremely thankful to sweepstakes for allowing us to use a spot in the lead truck to create this opportunity and raise some money so that the Buggy Alumni Association can pursue its mission to support buggy.

Fine Print Details

  • All heats will be auctioned simultaneously.  Preliminary heats and commentator heats will be awarded upon closing of the online auction on Wednesday night; Finals heats will be awarded following the closing bids at the live event on Friday night.
  • The bidding will start at 9:00am ET on Monday, April 8th
  • Bidding on the Preliminary Heats and Unique Experiences will end at 11:00pm ET on Wednesday, April 10th
  • Bidding on the Finals Heat Selections will end at 11:00pm ET on Wednesday, April 10th, and after each winner selects which heat to assign their leading bid, bidding on the Finals Heats will end during the Buggy Recap and Finals Auction event beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET on Friday, April 12th.
  • Payment must be received before winners take their rides. All payments must be made by credit card. Cash and Check will not be accepted.
  • All winning bids will be considered a gift to the Buggy Alumni Association. We have worked closely with the university to make sure that your gift to the BAA is also credited as a gift to Carnegie Mellon. Be assured that 100% of your gift will go to the Buggy Alumni Association. Also, if you’re an alum celebrating a reunion, your gift to the BAA will be counted towards your class totals.
  • For tax recognition purposes the donor can only claim their gift amount above the Fair Market Value of the Ride Auction. We are currently working with Carnegie Mellon to determine the Fair Market Value of the auction items, and will confirm that as soon as we have that information. Only the amount of your donation above the fair market value of the EVENT is tax deductible. Please consult your tax advisor for more information.
  • If two people specify the same maximum bid, and the auction ends without any higher bids, the person that entered their maximum bid first will be the winner.
  • The end time (11:00pm ET Wednesday April 10th for the Preliminary Auction, the end of the live event for the Finals Auction) is fixed. There will be no extensions to allow for last minute bids. Get your bids in early and make use of the max bid feature!
  • Any heats that get rained out or otherwise cancelled will just void the auction for those heats. Of course, if winners of cancelled heats want to make their donations anyway, we won’t complain.
  • Winners should be present at the BAA tent between Hill 2 and the Finish Line at the end of the preceding heat. Failure to show up in a timely manner will result in forfeiting the ride. We can’t be the cause of any delays, so the Buggy Alumni Association will have to be conservative in our estimation of “timely manner.” Be there!
  • The Buggy Alumni Association and Sweepstakes reserve the right to refund donations from and refuse a ride to anyone that is intoxicated or otherwise unable to safely ride in the back of a truck.
  • No rides may violate Pennsylvania’s laws concerning riding in a pickup truck. Basically this means the passenger must be over 18.
  • Sweepstakes also reserves the right to cancel rides and have us refund donations if they need to for any reason.


7 thoughts on “2019 Lead Truck Auction Details (AND A CHANGE TO THE FINALS HEATS)”

  • Over the years, the lead truck has gone from being the best seat in the house (where you could see all the action at the front, minus a few moments in the chute) to the worst seat in the house ( essentially a bumpy ride in a truck where you could see part of hill 1 and then an occasional glimpse of what was probably a buggy ( or bigfoot) in the distance, then the end of hill 5 ) due to a change in approach / driving style.
    While safety is paramount, seems like the truck has become overly cautious resulting in the reduction in viewing quality. Can this be corrected and/or can one opt to take their lead truck ride from the follow truck?

    • We’ve looked into auctioning off a seat in the follow truck in the past. The problem is that there aren’t any open seats. But we’ll look into whether it would be possible to choose one or the other for your heat.

    • The other side to this is that there’s a level of experience and skill to keep the truck close to the action but not too close and every now and then someone else has to fill the role other than Holly (who is far and away the most experienced Lead Truck Driver).

      That said, I’ve still enjoyed it every year I’ve done it, especially since I watch the races again once they’re posted to the web.

  • Seems like someone who bids upon and wins a prelim heat and a finals heat needs to pay twice as they may or may not have really won the final heat and will not know until after the prelims and those must be paid in advance. Am I understanding this correctly?

    • Yes, that’s correct. The link to pay for the prelim heats, and the amount to pay, will be sent out after the online auctions close on Wednesday. For the finals, we will have a laptop/tablet available at the event on Friday night to collect any winning payments there, or if the winning bidder does not attend, the link and amount owed for the finals heats will be sent out after the finals auctions close on Friday (I believe there will also be a laptop/tablet at the BAA tent on Saturday, to collect any remaining payments that had not yet been made).

  • One more update: We’ve gotten word from CMU that the fair market value for each of the items will be $0.00! This means that the entire amount of the winning bid will be tax deductible!

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