ZURICH: New Weltklasse

Zürich: All New Meeting, All New Stadium – IAAF Golden League
Monday 22 January 2007
This year’s Weltklasse Zürich - IAAF Golden League - will be held in the brand-new Letzigrund Stadium on 7 September 2007. Many things will be new at the largest one-day event of Switzerland, lifting the legendary meeting to new, even higher levels.

The Letzigrund Stadium has been famous for offering the annual, ultimate athletics experience for a long time, and the work on the new arena is progressing at top speed, breaking the first stadium record of the new era.

The new Organizing Committee of Weltklasse Zürich feels indebted to the city of Zurich for the enormous efforts. President of the Organizing Committee, Patrick Magyar, leaves no room for doubt: “This is the most beautiful athletics arena ever built - and to us, it is at the same time a wonderful gift and a great obligation to meet the new Letzigrund Stadium’s standards in each and every area of our organization.”

“We are working to put together the meeting that will set the standards: the meeting with the best athletes, the hottest and most thrilling duels, and of course, the meeting with the best and most enthusiastic audience in the world. To achieve this goal, we will introduce some fundamental innovations,” continued Patrick Magyar.

New Website - New logo

Weltklasse Zürich has a new logo (as shown above) and a new website - www.weltklassezuerich.ch – and as well as the latest news about the meeting viewers can watch updates of the stadium’s progress via a choice of two webs cams –

[HERE is a link to the IAAF webpage report which includes the actual camera links to the new ground in Zurich. kk] :


Camera One

Camera Two

Fewer events – Breathtaking duels

“Our event philosophy calls for more time per event and athlete”, explains Andreas Hediger, Technical Director at Weltklasse Zürich. And he continues to specify that in order to live up to this credo, and also to promote technical events efficiently, the amount of events will be reduced from 23 to 17. “We would like to stage attractive competitions and breathtaking duels, which you rarely see in record races. In order to promote tough competitions further, Weltklasse Zürich will not include any pacemakers in the races in future.”

Major increase in Prize Money

The overall amount to be awarded in prize money will be increased to 1.4 million US dollars, an increase of 50 %, and will make Weltklasse Zürich the best endowed meeting in the world.

This considerable adjustment will be achieved by re-allocating part of the budget for appearance fees to the more performance-oriented prize money system. In addition, Weltklasse Zürich will treat all events equally: races and field events, men’s and women’s events will all be eligible for the same prize money schedule.

Zürich Trophy

An exception will be made for the new final exclamation mark to the meeting programme - the Zürich Trophy: Eight national teams in their national uniforms - among them of course the Swiss team - will compete in a 4x100m relay and thereby present the audience with an exciting and emotional final highlight of the evening.

Support programme - Promotion of national talents

The supporting programme of Weltklasse Zürich will be shortened and will focus on providing a platform for rising Swiss athletes. “National athletes, who compete at international performance level, but do not yet fulfil the standards for a classic Weltklasse Zürich A race will receive an ideal opportunity to compete against equal opponents”, reasons Patrick Magyar.

Capturing and fully enjoying all performances

Not only does the new stadium live up to all standards, the state-of-the-art infrastructure will also allow a whole range of new opportunities for the presentation of the meeting. “We strongly believe in our duty to present our rather complex sport in an attractive manner, so that the audience can capture and fully enjoy all performances”, explains Andreas Hediger. “There will be a special TV production for the two giant screens, and also an infield speaker to guide the audience through the action in the arena. In addition, both the audience in the stadium and TV viewers at home will benefit from virtual graphics and a modern format of two hours.”

Ticket offers

The Letzigrund audience has a reputation among the athletes for being the best in the world. This unique relationship shall prevail in the new stadium. In order to enable even more young people and track and field athletes to be part of the action on 7 September, Weltklasse Zürich and Swiss Athletics, the national federation, will launch a special ticket offer, containing a ticket contingent. This package will be offered in co-operation with the Weltklasse Zürich sponsors UBS, Erdgas Ostschweiz and Migros.

Family ticket packages will also enable families to be there live, at affordable rates. These packages are a sign of gratitude for the people in Zurich and will be available within the city only.

In the past, it was not easy to get hold of a Weltklasse Zürich ticket for athletics fans - for seating tickets, it was virtually impossible. This will now finally change for the better: A total of 21,500 seats will be available in the new stadium - 10,000 tickets more than in the past. The standing area instead has been reduced to 5000 (compared to 11,000 in the past).

Seating ticket rates for the seating area start at 60 Swiss francs, tickets for the standing area will cost 30 Swiss francs. All tickets will be on sale as of April and can be ordered at www.weltklassezuerich.ch.

Patrick Magyar warns, however, that the huge demand suggests that the tickets may be sold out very quickly.

Programme of Events at Weltklasse Zürich 2007

IAAF Golden League Jackpot events:
Women: 100m, 400m, 100m h, HJ, PV
Men: 100m, 1500m, 110m h, TJ, JT

Other Events:
Women: 800m (or 800m men), 1500m
Men: 200m, 800m (or 800m women), 3000m, 4x100m relay (Zürich Trophy)

21,500 seat stadiam… only a small one ey?

17 events, divide by 1.5million, gives $88k per event, Then spread out over the field of 8 or 3? So, the winner might get 40-50k.
If your doing track for the money, you would be better off playing golf, where million dollar prize money seems often!

Sounds like a major retrenchment and a huge drop in apearance fees, event numbers and depth, and overall budget.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that the appearance fees paid before were up to 100,000 for one athlete and now 88,000 for the whole event, prizes and all.
Removing official pacers is a big money savings but doesn’t mean that certain countries won’t provide/create their own pacing anyway.

YEP, I reckon you’ve seen straight through the Spin to the dark heart of the (anti)matter. There will be pace-making but the federation/agents like those from Morocco, Kenya, Ethiopia will be paying the meet director to get them a run so as to protect their front-running stars (eg: Kenny Bekele) from the dastardly kickers (eg: Craig Mottram - see World Cup 3000m last year!).

And that all comes under the guise of “acting in the best interests of the sport by encouraging Real Competition rather than artificial record-breaking”.

Of course if they can sell that, they can save on record bonuses. This could be seen as just another Sign Of The Athletics Apocalypse. :eek: :rolleyes: The gnomes of Zurich have spoken!

You got it! Pacers used to get more than most entrants because they had to give up their own possibility of a result.
Also do the math on the 100. Even twenty years ago they paid out over 250,000 USD and it got higher later on.
Also check the comments on “breath-taking duals” Read, we’ll pay for two and fill up the rest of the lanes with ‘cutters and canners’ that cost bugger-all! This is something Zurich was always famous for NEVER doing! They always had the deepest and toughest fields the world has ever seen.

If there was ever any race i have ever wanted to get involved in, it was always the Zurich meet. Always full of the best of the best.
Wonder what will happen to the event this year? How many Top graded individuals will just go “nar, its not worth flying half the way around the world like it was last yr” ?


Then spread out over the field of 8 or 3? [QUOTE]

In 1986, I checked the 100m list of 24 entries to see who in the world top 24 WASN’T there. Answer: NO ONE!

[QUOTE=Charlie Francis][QUOTE=boldwarrior]

Then spread out over the field of 8 or 3?

In 1986, I checked the 100m list of 24 entries to see who in the world top 24 WASN’T there. Answer: NO ONE!

Mate, that is called competition. Imagine turning up to a competition, say the “worlds” and for whatever reason 4 guys out of the top 10 are not involved, ie, eg, USA has 6guys in the top 10, but only 2 are allowed to go… Then Joe blow from Africa run at the worlds and comes 3rd behind the two USA guys. Does that mean he is the 3rd best in the world? Or does it mean the guy who came 3rd at the USA trails is the 3rd best in the world?
If i was Joe Blow from africa, i would be disapointed. However, i would try to Prove my worth at the Zurich classic, as 24 runners in the top 24 are there. At Zurich, you cannot Hide. If i came 5th there, i would perhaps be happier, as i know, without doubt, i am the 5th best (or whatever).