How Much Do Skaters Get Paid For Shows?
I've always been curious how much skaters get paid to do ice shows and the like. Does anyone have any idea? Savachenko just gave an interview where she said the Japan leg of the Stars on Ice tour offered her and Robin $45k to do nine shows in three cities. Is that pretty par for the course? As an Olympic medalist/world champion, I assume she would get paid more than a skater who isn't, no?
I also assume shows in Asia like Yuna's pay a little more. Stars on Ice in the US and Canada aren't even close to as popular as they were in the 90s and the last US tour I went to in 2012 was only about 60-70% full. I don't even know how SOI in North America manages to break even what with production costs and their big casts.
That figure sounds close to what pairs skaters were paid in the US for shows back in the day.
In the 90's, Champions on Ice at its peak could have up to 100 shows a year. The top ladies skater always got the highest pay, much higher than the male/pairs skaters
Kwan was the highest paid on COI, making 15,000 a show.
I think the shows were still packed in 2002, 2003. After that, it began to rapidly decline in the US
And Yuna owns and produces her shows
Yes, ATS is her own show. I heard when ATS began in summer 2010, the first show got around $1million profit from ticket selling. The show did pretty good since then so Yuna got just too much money from that.
Originally Posted by pointyourtoe
A couple of decades ago the professional circuit was HUGE. There were not only professional skating championships but a huge number of skating t.v. specials and a whole host of ice show tours. This was very common in the early to mid 90's. Skaters who had won medals in the 80's and 90's like Orser, Boitano, Witt, Manley, Gordeeva & Grinkov (until his death), Brasseur & Eisler, etc. were very popular and became household names in a way many of the current skaters have not. Some of the top skaters earned huge sums of money - perhaps even becoming millionaires in a few cases.
But it began to decline in the late 90's and early 00's. It seemed that t.v. coverage of skating declined, and the introduction of prize money into the amateur Grand Prix circuit may have blurred the line between amateur and professional. Eventually the prize money amounts for GP events was cut a few years ago to less than what it used to be. Now we don't have the professional skating championships we used to have or the number of skating shows. But there are still the Stars On Ice tours and some smaller tours at which the higher-profile skaters are able to find work for periods of time, particularly after an Olympics at which they have won a medal.
The truth is that in NA they just aren't that popular anymore, so they make less. They're moving onto other things as well. Orser coaches, Boitano has his HGTV shows, Kwan her own projects, Weir consults and performs overseas. I'm guessing in addition to staying busy and keeping their names in the cultural conversation, they need to do other things.
Stars on Ice do OK but I did notice that the closer one gets to a show, they start discounting the tickets through Groupon as well, and from what I've been told by those who went is that the venue is almost always half-empty if it's a big arena.
That being said, some major competitions do attract large crowds. US nationals always seems to be sold-out, and worlds 2009 in LA drew large crowds at a time when the sport's popularity in the US had declined substantially. I think the ultimate test is to see how 2016 worlds in Boston sells.
There are smaller, local skating shows that take place in cities across the country throughout the year featuring current members of the National Team. These events are allowed to take place once they have been sanctioned by Skate Canada. But they are obviously local in nature and are not the huge money-makers that the massive ice show tours are.
Nationals absolutely does not ever sell out. Even for the ladies free skate there are empty seats.
Originally Posted by anyanka
Being a Champion/medalist definitely helps increase your pay rates. It would also depend on the skater's popularity in the area which they're touring. For example; people like Daisuke, Mao, and Yuzuru would earn a lot more than S/S due to their crowd drawing power in Japan.
Wasn't U.S Nationals close to sold out this year?
Originally Posted by tulosai
I know that the final Saturday night at Canadian Nationals was sold out this year when I attended. I was glad we had ordered our tickets a couple months in advance!
Depends what event. Pairs and dance short were very empty, especially pairs short. Pairs and dance long program the first half was pretty empty, then the later groups was maybe 1/2 to 2/3 full in total.
Originally Posted by Ryan O
Ladies SP was maybe 1/2 to 2/3 full as well. Ladies LP some people made a big deal about how it was selling out, but in the balcony were still really a very fair number of seats empty. Possibly some people purchased tickets but didn't show. I'd say the lower level on the ladies free program was almost full (but not entirely) and the balcony was maybe 3/4 full? In any event there were hundreds of empty seats remaining in total. When you watch on TV the arena looks full since the front rows either sell out or else people move down to them. That's unfortunately far from an accurate representation of the arena as a whole.
So it sounds like U.S. Nationals may not be as well-attended as Canadian Nationals?
In search of a summer sport to love <3
I've always wondered that. Like, for adult skaters who are competing at the top level, where on earth does the money com from? We hear of the tightness of money with Mirai and Agnes, but with others, it doesn't seem to be much of an issue.
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Synchro Worlds in Boston sold out last year, but it was not in TD Garden, which is a huge arena. I am looking forward to Boston 2016! Boston Sports crowds are some of the best. 2014 Nationals was one of the best competitions I've attended.
Originally Posted by tulosai
Yuna also got tons of endorsements and TV ads. One of my Korean friends told me that she is so popular in Korean, a mega star!
Originally Posted by nguyenghita
Mao also has huge stardom in Japan. She was the top athlete of Japan last year. I am sure, her pay must be very high as well.
On the other hands, things are very quite in Europe and North America
I guess from reading the thread, payments for the figure skater really depends on the overall popularity of the sport including the popularity of the athletes they bring in. I guess that's why so many international skaters do the Japan leg of certain ice show tours since they seem to sell pretty well.