USA Swimming has finalized the schedule for the 2013-2014 Grand Prix Series, which will look very similar to what it did before.
· Nov. 14-16, 2013: Arena Grand Prix at Minneapolis
· Jan. 17-19, 2014: Arena Grand Prix at Austin
· Feb. 13-15, 2014: Arena Grand Prix at Orlando
· April 24-26, 2014: Arena Grand Prix at Mesa
· May 15-18, 2014: Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte
· June 19-22, 2014: Arena Grand Prix at Santa Clara
They’ve also finalized the prize money, which will be the same as last year:
1st in each event – $500
2nd in each event – $300
3rd in each event – $100
That’s all well-known news.
Here’s the new twist on this year’s series: BMW will give away a BMW ActiveHybrid 3 Series car to the highest scoring eligible male and female swimmer in the overall series standings.
That’s a huge upgrade from last year, where series winners Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin got a simple plaque and recognition for winning the overall series in the transition year from the old system, where overall series winner took the cash, to the new system, where cash is divided among race medalists.
Note that the 2013 edition of this car has a sticker price of $49,700. Throw on top the delivery charges and taxes thrown in by USA Swimming, and that is a sweet prize, though it’s only a one-year lease. That’s still a one-year lease of a $50,000 car.
Note that the cars will go to someone, even if the series winners aren’t eligible.
Winners in each Olympic event (plus their closest yards equivalent for Minneapolis) will receive five points, runners-up will receive three points, and third-place finishers will receive one point.