USA Swimming has announced more details about the plan, leaked last month, to offer significantly-upgraded prize pools for the Grand Prix Series with Arena now on as the title sponsor. Specifically, each of the remaining 5 meets in this year’s series will combine to give away $150,000 in prize money: over 7-times the previous $20,000 prize pool given away.
More specifically, and this is the biggest improvement, is that winners of each Olympic-distance event will be rewarded.
- $500 for winners
- $300 for runners-up
- $100 for third-place finishers
“Since its inception, the Grand Prix Series was designed to showcase the best swimming talent in the country,” said Frank Busch, USA Swimming’s National Team Director. “We’ve always envisioned having this type of prize money to strengthen the level of competition at these meets, and with Arena’s support, it’s become a reality and will help take swimming in the U.S. to the next level.”
Money will be awarded retroactively to winners of the Minneapolis Grand Prix events as well.
This prize pool is smaller than the $1,500/$1,000/$500 given at the world’s other major pool swimming circuit, the FINA World Cup. Given a much lower cost of participation for most athletes, however, and the relatively deep pool of elite professionals training in the United States, the dollar amounts given should be more-than-enough to entice lots of names to the meet and really ramp-up the competitiveness.
The next stop of the series will be the Austin Grand Prix that will run from January 18th-20th with the new prize money in effect. The Saturday and Sunday finals sessions will be broadcast live on Universal Sports from 7-8:30 PM Eastern Time, with Missy Franklin, Tyler Clary, and Ricky Berens already committed to participate. Clary and Berens are both back at their former collegiate training grounds this season after both moved to California for Olympic preparation.
Remaining Meets on the 2012-2013 Grand Prix Schedule:
January 18-20, 2013 USA Swimming Grand Prix, Austin, TX – LC
February 15-17, 2013 USA Swimming Grand Prix, Orlando, FL– LC
April 18-20, 2013 USA Swimming Grand Prix, Mesa, AZ – LC
May 9-12, 2013 USA Swimming Grand Prix, Charlotte, NC – LC
May 30-June 2, 2013 USA Swimming Grand Prix, Santa Clara, CA – LC
For more discussion on what this new prize money could mean for the series, see the original article here.