The Highest Paying Sports Events in the World
1. The FIFA World Cup
The FIFA Football World Cup pays out the biggest prize fund in sport. The winners of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany shared $21 million, with an additional $260 million shared between the other teams participating in the tournament for a total payout in excess of $280 million.
2. The Champions League
Europe’s biggest and glitziest regional football tournament offers the biggest cash payout to a winning team in international sport. The club winning the Champions League final is rewarded for this achievement with $170 million in prize money. Even the losers in the final are handsomely rewarded with a cheque for $60 million.
3. The Dubai World Cup Night
The Dubai World Cup Night is officially the richest event in thoroughbred racing, with around $22 million in prize money available during this single day thoroughbred race meeting. Six races are run during the course of the evening, culminating in the $6 million Dubai World Cup.
4. The Breeders Cup
Often described as the World Championship of Thoroughbred Racing, the Breeders Cup is one of the richest sports events in the world, offering $21 million in prize money over two days. Fourteen races are run during the course of the meeting, with the Breeders Cup Classic paying out the top prize of $5 million.
5. The US Open Tennis Tournament
The US Open is the highest paying tennis tournament in the world, with over $20 million in prize money shared between the winners of the various divisions. Players in the mens and women’s singles divisions are able to earn up to $2.4 million if they win the tournament as well a selection of tune-up events.
6. Stanford 20/20 for Twenty
Texan billionaire Allen Stanford is responsible for the biggest cash prize in for a one-off fixture in international team sport. Standford devised the 20/20 for Twenty match to assist in the recovery of West Indian cricket. The team winning the annual once-off match between England and a West Indian all-stars team walks away with $20 million, with each player guaranteed a $1 million payout.
7. World Series of Poker
The World Series of Poker Main Event final table pays out some of the biggest cash prizes in the world. The cumulative payout for final table players has exceeded $35 million in the past, but has recently come down due to modifications to the Main Event tournament format. The winner of the tournament is virtually guaranteed to walk away with over $8 million in prize money.
8. Royal Ascot Meeting
England’s biggest thoroughbred race meeting, The Royal Ascot, is famous for lining the silken pockets of its well heeled competitors. The 5 day race meeting awards around $8 million in prize money, with the meeting’s five feature races paying out the most generous purses.
There is little doubt that boxing is one of the most lucrative sports in the world, with world championship title fights turning contestants into instant millionaires. Oscar de La Hoya, the world’s highest paid boxer can earn anywhere between $30-$50 million per fight, although only a fraction of this payout is prize money, with the rest of the payout generated by broadcasting rights deals and appearance fees.
10. FedEx Cup
Golf’s richest event isn’t one of the four Majors, but rather the PGA Tour’s season finale, the FedEx Cup. To win the FedEx Cup a golfer must accumulate points while playing in the four FedEx Cup playoffs – The Barclays Championship, the Deutsche Bank Championship, the BMW Champions and the Tour Championship. The highest points scorer at the conclusion of the Tour Championship walks away with a $10 million payout. Wins achieved at any of the playoffs can add additional millions to the FedEx Cup winner’s purse.
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