MUMBAI: International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Sebastian Coe says he is considering introducing an Indian Premier League-style auction to athletics as one of a number of proposals to revive the sport.
Coe was quoted by The Guardian as stating that athletics needs a facelift if it is to compete for audiences, advertising and sponsorship deals with other mainstream sports. This could include athletes being bid for by city franchises in a similar format to cricket’s IPL or even having temporary athletics tracks built inside football stadiums.
Coe said he would like to look beyond 400 m tracks, and consider possibilities like a pop-up 300m track in a football stadium. "You see the excitement of the pick with the IPL auction. We need to have some early hour moments of unease about what we are prepared to do. We have to be radical,” he was quoted as saying.
London 2017 saw a streamlining of the world championship schedule, with fewer individual sessions than previous editions and Coe said further changes could be made before the next world championships in Doha in 2019.
Speaking at the Leaders in Sport conference, Coe said, “We’ve got to get people to recognise that good racing is not simply about how fast can you get from A to B,” he said, “There’s got to be a drama, there’s got to be things happening.
“There’s quite an emphasis on those meet directors to always push for times and distances. Sometimes there’s more to it. The choreography of a race is much more than who are the seven, 10 fastest people in the field. I think that also impacts, sometimes, on the quality of our championship races.”