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  • #16
    Originally posted by jamaicantrackfan
    Bolt must be exempt from this because Bolt is in such high demand on the circuit, he currently commands about $200,000 per race as per several news reports.

    Bolt is certainly not going to run in Europe for free.
    Would you, if you were he? Would anyone run for free if there are people ready to pay that kind of money? I doubt it.

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    • #17
      I seem to remember a few decades back, when tennis became open, that a high-level decision was made not to pay any appearance money. Then a while down the road they discovered that promoters were indeed paying the Jimmy Connorses of the world fees to assure their attendance.

      Even with all his gazillions, I suspect Tiger is offered no end of bennies to show.

      But the issue here is what happens if (if this rumor is true) the cutting of appearance money becomes widespread, and athlete revenues are cut? I think what would happen is that the rich would get richer still (because the Bolts of the world will indeed always get paid) and the second-tier athletes will suffer. Not good for the spot overall.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by dl
        Originally posted by imaginative
        As a side-note, I am opposed specifically to appearance money:.
        I understand what you mean, and agree with you to an extent, but step back a bit and think what the track world would be like with only prize money. It would be a lot like the US road racing scene, which foolishly has abandoned appearance fees for the most part, and now is a series of boring races with Africans taking the first 20 spots.

        Nothing against the African road racers. They're fantastic athletes who are doing nothing wrong. But the race directors don't realize that they're producing a boring product. If they took a portion of the money that they put toward prize and put it toward attracting a few top Americans, perhaps a few Europeans, Australians, etc., producing an interesting mixed field with some home country athletes for fans to cheer for/relate to, they'd be much better off.

        Should the DN Galan meet not pay appearance fees to Kluft, Kallur (and Holm, Bergqvist, Olsson, when they were competing) to pack the stands and instead just have prize money on offer for whoever is willing to show up and compete?
        This is an interesting point (which I indeed overlooked). My original take was
        that appearance fees could be replaced by result targets, e.g. the 9.7x
        mentioned in my previous post. With such a system someone like Bolt would have
        incitaments to come---but would also have to actually deliver the results the
        audience would be hoping for.

        Local heros may indeed lose out with such a program, which in turn could have a
        negative effect on the spectator numbers. Possibly, some kind of exception may
        be needed; possibly, another mechanism can be used. However, if we look
        specifically at your road-racing example: Should someone unable to crack the
        top twenty really be paid to participate? (IMO: Top three, OK; top twenty, no.)

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        • #19
          I think the bottom line is that you can make a "rule" that no appearance fees will be paid, but if a meet really wants Athlete X and he/she is not going to show up unless they get an appearance fee (or at least a guaranteed amount against prize/bonuses) then the meet is going to pay.

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          • #20
            dl, how does that work with a meet like Mt. Sace, for instance? I based my initial post above on the premise that certain (high profile) meets draw athletes to compete for the sake of competition with the absence of appearance fees. Some meets are not in want of athletes, per sé.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by dl
              I think the bottom line is that you can make a "rule" that no appearance fees will be paid, but if a meet really wants Athlete X and he/she is not going to show up unless they get an appearance fee (or at least a guaranteed amount against prize/bonuses) then the meet is going to pay.
              If the rule was enforced by all meet promoters, it would work. Yes, I know that's very unlikely.
              Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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