The IAAF, in a worldwide conference call today, announced the formation of the IAAF Diamond League one-day meets, designed to enhance the world-wide appeal of track & field, by going outside Europe for the first time.
At present, 12 meetings have signed contracts to join the Diamond League, with 3 others on standby, which means that there will be competitions in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the USA.
Tom Jordan, the meet director of the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, and Mark Wetmore of Global Athletics & Marketing, the meet director of the Reebok Grand Prix in New York, have signed contracts with the IAAF to become a part of the IAAF Diamond League.
The final composition of the league will be confirmed at the end of the 2009 season.
Among the other innovations of this new league is that athletes from 32 different athletics events can take part, thanks to careful distribution of the events between the different meetings.
Starting in 2010, the IAAF Diamond League will offer more athletes, more earning opportunities. All 32 disciplines will have the same prize money with each meeting giving out $US 416,000. The biggest stars of the sport will be contracted with the Diamond League to ensure that the best athletes take part.
In each of the 32 events there will be an “IAAF Diamond Race” with points available throughout the season. The athlete with the most points at the end of the series will be awarded a 4 carat diamond (worth approximately $US 80,000)
The IAAF Diamond League will play a key role in supporting the IAAF World Athletics Series of championships, as well as track & field at the Olympic Games, by building up interest in the sport leading up to and immediately after the main events.
The international TV rights for the IAAF Diamond League will be marketed by IMG.
IAAF President Lamine Diack welcomed the creation of the Diamond League: “I am delighted that the IAAF, in close association with the meeting directors, has come up with a new professional circuit which will offer an easily understandable series of meetings to provide world class entertainment and also offer the maximum number of competition opportunities for a maximum number of athletes in different events. Thanks to the support of the meetings, we will be able to offer top class events that are based on solid financial foundations, provide the best organizational capability and serve to promote and develop the sport of athletics.”
Here are the meets that are part of the new Diamond League:
Aviva London Grand Prix
Aviva British Grand Prix
Bislett Games Oslo
DN Galan Stockholm
Meeting Areva Paris St-Denis
Memorial Van Damme Brussels
Nike Prefontaine Classic Eugene
Reebok Grand Prix New York
China Golden Grand Prix
DKB ISTAF Berlin *
Golden Gala Rome *
Qatar Athletics Super Grand Prix in Doha *
(the IAAF will formally name the final three meets as part of the circuit after contracts are signed).
Below is a document from the IAAF expanding on today's conference call:
20090302095648 Http Posted File Iaafdiamondleague Summary 8970