The ISU has put some big money on the line.
After listening to complaints about Olympic medallists not showing up at the world figure skating championships in Calgary, the International Skating Union has bucked up an additional $450,000 US in prize money.
The bonus cash will go to the top three skaters/couples in each of the four disciplines having earned the most world standing points during 2006-2007.
The bonuses will be equal to the prize money currently awarded to the top three at the world championships: $45,000 for first, $27,000 for second and $18,000 for third in singles; and $67,500 for first, $40,500 for second and $27,000 for third in pairs and ice dance.
"Nobody has suffered so much from the absence of certain celebrities on the ice," said ISU president Ottavio Cinquanta, alluding to absent Russian stars Evgeni Plushenko and Irina Slutskaya.
"A skater is under the control of his respective federation.
"We have a duty to permit the skater to compete but we cannot impose the skater to compete. This is the responsibility of the member federation."
Cinquanta would not attribute sparse crowds at the 'Dome to the absent stars.