Following quickly on the heels of indefinite postponements by the CrossFit Lowlands Throwdown and the Atlas Games earlier this week, both the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challange (MACC) and the German Throwdown (GTD) canceled their Sanctioned events for the 2019-2020 Games season late Friday morning.
One big thing: Sanctionals are bleeding money right now. In the cases of Mid-Atlantic and German Throwdown, thousands had already been paid for fees for facilities, vendors and amenities, a majority of which cannot be recouped. The Atlas Games alone lost upwards of $30,000 after being forced to cancel last minute. Despite the financial hardship, Sanctional directors’ are 1). committed to finding ways to refund money and 2). to chart a path forward for the event to come back next season.
The Sanctionals season is in peril: At this point, six events have canceled (or in the case of the Rogue Invitational, switched format altogether, forfeiting its Games berths), and only ten events remain on the schedule, most of which do not yet have new confirmed dates. Despite CrossFit HQ’s announcement that it intends to hold a live event to crown the Fittest in 2020, there is a very distinct possibility that we have already seen our last Sanctional this season.
MACC makes the tough call: In their Instagram post, MACC organizers wrote that “COVID-19 has severely affected all of us during this unprecedented global health crisis. The Mid-Atlantic CrossFit® Challenge has decided to postpone the Main Event without a future date at this time.”
- “The safety of our Athletes, Staff and Spectators has and always will be our number one concern, so we will be providing a full refund to all Athletes, Spectators, and Vendors. As difficult as this decision was for us financially, we decided that this is a time to provide for your family and your CrossFit Affiliate. Everyone is affected by this health crisis, and as affiliate owners ourselves we ask that you do what you can to support them during this time.”
More details: A follow-up email will be sent to athletes within the next week and future announcements about the MACC Main Event will be made on Instagram.
- Refunds: Athletes will receive a 100% refund of their registration fee by the end of the month. Spectators can expect a full refund from TicketMaster within 30 days, while vendors will also be refunded fully within the same time frame.
German Throwdown follows suit: Within a few hours of the MACC announcement, the GTD issued its own cancelation post on Instagram. “The German government…made the announcement that all big events are forbidden until at least the end of August.” Although the definition of “big event” is not yet clear, organizers do not feel its responsible to wait any longer and stated, “we want to let you know that we cannot hold on to the July weekend [July 18-19].”
- Tough financial straits: “As our preparations already were 11 months underway and had to pay multiple partners including the venue, we are in a very tough financial situation.”
Refunds are a little more complicated in Germany: When organizers announced their initial postponement, they offered full refunds to athletes and spectators who would be unable to attend. As many as 20% took advantage of that option.
- However, a change to German law, designed to help event organizers maintain financial liquidity, now requires that refunds be issued in the form of gift cards. These gift cards will be valid for all future events and need to be requested, just like a regular refund.
- If an athlete or spectator is currently in financial trouble, GTD organizers will refund the ticket price in cash. And, if the gift card is not used by the end of 2021, the holder will be refunded in cash as well.
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