The International Badminton Federation’s (IBF) events committee has decided that the most recent finals held last month in Brunei will be the last, although they may return in a new guise early in 2003.
IBF spokeswoman Lindsey Bell said: “The main problem has been finding ways to cover the total costs of running the event.
“These include offering the highest possible prizemoney to players, paid travel, accommodation and subsistence for more than 70 players and about 20 officials from around the world.
“On top of that are TV production and local organisation costs.”
Prizemoney alone in Brunei totalled $250,000 (?281,000) – a large sum for a sport that always has to battle hard for sponsorship.
Bell said: “We are looking at a new format of competition for the players who are top in the world ranking list, creating a tournament that is both highly attractive to the market and profitable for both players and the IBF.”
It now seems highly likely that team events such as the Thomas, Uber and Sudirman Cups will also adopt different formats in the future to make them more commercially viable.
In last month’s Grand Prix finals the men’s singles title went to Xia Xuanze of China. Compatriot Zhou Mi won the women’s singles competition.
The event was postponed last March until August because of ticketing and security problems.