European Championships Ends with “Large Amount of Debt”, Organizers Unsure They Will Be Able to Pay
After promising a £40,000 prize purse, European Championships organizer Carl Saville informed athletes last week the competition that was held in a 10,000-seater stadium in Nottingham, England in August racked up “a large amount of debt,” and ultimately athletes can’t expect to be paid any time soon, if at all.
The details: “We have now finalized detail with the venue and despite having the largest footfall in our event’s history, we also had the lowest paying spectator tickets in our history, too,” Seville wrote about his event, which took place August 19-21 and was won by three-time CrossFit Games athlete Uldis Upenieks and 23-year-old up-and-comer Aimee Cringle.
- “The disappointing news above means the competition has now been left in a large amount of debt, which we’re working incredibly hard to try and resolve and keep the event in operation,” he continued.
- The solutions Seville is seeking are more sponsors, bringing on investors, and possibly trying to sell the event to be able to pay the remaining balance, he said.
- If he is able to secure sponsors or investors, he said “we will look to make staggered percentage payments to ensure you receive a part payment as soon as possible and to ensure all athletes are in the same position.”
One big thing: Low spectator attendance was also one of the main reasons Atlas Games Semifinals co-owner and director Alexis Leblanc-Bazinet said his event wasn’t profitable last season.
- “People need to jump in and make sure they buy tickets, make sure they go to sponsors to buy stuff. So if everyone wants to come back, people have to spend money,” Leblanc-Bazinet told the Morning Chalk Up after the Atlas Games.
The big picture: Not being able to pay athletes in a timely manner, or at all, because competitions can’t seem to make money, is becoming an unfortunate trend in the sport today. Just yesterday, we reported on a similar situation with the British Columbia-based competition, the CanWest Games, bringing up the question content creator Jason CF Media (Jason Croxon) did on his recent podcast: “Is it right to offer a prize purse based on a potential source of income and revenue that you haven’t yet established?”
Regardless of the answer to that question, it is becoming clear that advertised prize purses don’t mean a whole lot, which is embarrassing for the sport as a whole and needs to be amended if CrossFit is ever going to be seen as a legitimate professional sport.