Thursday 21 November 2019

The 10 richest sporting events in the world

Players from Bayern Munich with the European Cup last year
Players from Bayern Munich with the European Cup last year

With the world's richest horse race, Dubai World Cup, taking place on Saturday, here are the world's 10 wealthiest sporting events.

10 - Fifa Club World Cup: $5million (€3.6m)

There was controversy in England in 2000 when FA Cup holders Manchester United withdrew from the tournament to compete in the inaugural - and much derided - Club World Cup.

The competition has evolved since then and is now seen as a respected title. Bayern Munich are the current champions having defeated Morocco's Raja Casablanca in December.

Philipp Lahm of Germany's Bayern Munich holds the trophy as he celebrates with his team mates after winning their 2013 FIFA Club World Cup final soccer match against Morocco's Raja Casablanca at Marrakech stadium

9 - Dubai World Cup: $10m (€4.3m)

The world's richest horse race takes place, unsurprisingly, in Dubai. Held annually on the last Saturday in March and contested at the stunning $1.25bn Meydan Racecourse, the event was created in 1996 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai who owns Darley Stud and Godolphin Racing.

Among the expected field of 16 horses is Derby winner Ruler of the World and hotly-tipped Prince Bishop. Last year's winner was Animal Kingdom. Curling (above) was a popular winner in 2008.

US jockey Robby Albarado rides Breeders Cup Classic favourite Curlin to victory in the six million dollar Dubai World horse race in March early this year. Photo: Marwan Naamani, Getty Images

9 - FedEx Cup: $10m (€7.2m)

In joint ninth is the PGA Tour's season ending four tournament play-off series, the FedEX Cup, which was first awarded in 2007. The current champion - and recipient of the $10m reward - is Sweden's Henrik Stenson.

Henrik Stenson takes a one-shot lead into the final round of the DP World Tour Championship


7 - Super Bowl: $11m (€8m)

Perhaps surprisingly, given the huge global audience and massive commercial success of the Super Bowl, the winners receive just $11m in prize money (remember advertisers pay as much as $4m for a 30-second commercial).

However, the NFL operates a highly-effective revenue-sharing plan, a fairer redistribution of teams' collective wealth, which boosts competition and keeps the smaller franchises in business.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin (11) returns a kickoff for a touchdown against the Denver Broncos during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Matt York)

6 - World Series of Poker: Up to $12m (€8.7m)

Held in Las Vegas (where else?), the World Series of Poker comes with a guaranteed minimum $10m prize for the winner. In 2006, Jamie Gold took home $12m for his victory in the main event. The current champion is professional poker player Ryan Riess.

6 - Uefa Europa League: $12m (€8.7m)

In joint sixth is the Europa League, the reincarnation of the Uefa Cup and a tournament often treated with disdain by those competing to win it. But while it is often seen as an unwelcome distraction by managers and fans, the $12m reward is not to be sniffed at.

This year's winners Chelsea celebrate with the UEFA Europa League trophy

4 - World Series: $19m (€13.8m)

The showpiece series of Major League Baseball, the World Series is more than 100 years old. Current champions are the Boston Red Sox, who beat St Louis Cardinals in 2013.

Red Sox.jpg
The Boston Red Sox react after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in game six of the MLB baseball World Series at Fenway Park. Red Sox won 6-1

3 - Uefa European Championships: $29m (€21m)

Founded in 1960 and featuring just four teams, the Euros have grown considerably in the last 54 years, both in scale and financially. Euro 2016, which will be held in France, is the biggest tournament yet, following this year's expansion from 16 to 24 nations. Current holders Spain triumphed in 2012 and 2008 - and pocketed a substantial sum for their efforts.

Fernando Torres and Juan Mata have been left out of the squad to face Italy.

2 - Fifa World Cup: $31m (€22.5m)

Alleged Fifa corruption and wrongdoing aside, the showpiece of international football is a sparkling affair, boasting a final watched by more than 700 million people. The reward for victory is equally impressive, thanks in no small part to Fifa's finely tuned commercial operation. Current champions Spain defend their title in Brazil this summer.

Spain's Andres Iniesta scores the goal that led to his team winning the World Cup

1 - Uefa Champions League: $65m (€47m)

Twenty years ago, the concept of a 'race for fourth place' was unheard of in English football. But now, that 'achievement' is nearly as important as winning the league itself - at least that's what Arsene Wenger would have you believe, so important is qualification to the Champions League. As any Premier League club chairman will testify, this is the tournament where the real money is made. Current champions Bayern Munich banked a cool $65m when they beat domestic rivals Borussia Dortmund at Wembley last May.

Bayern Munich.jpg
Arsenal are underdogs going into their Champions League clash with reigning champions Bayern Munich


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