Triathlon taking a dive

I don't blog too often, but this was a subject that couldn't fit in 140 characters or less. 
I have noticed how the sport of triathlon and ironman seems to be taking a backwards dive down the proverbial toilet. 
Since i began the sport in 2000, there was a lot of buzz around triathlon and ironman races. 
Granted there were quite a few less races on the world circuit, but the race organisers actually cared about their events. Putting on a kind of week long festival of promotions and activities with the triathlon at the end being the main event. 
The formula one series, tooheys blue, one summer, Saint George, Accenture series just to name a few. Now a lot of you outside Australia probably hadn't heard of these, but as an Australian that loved watching sports on a saturday afternoon, these racers had prime time television coverage creating local and national heros, with back stories and there town pride on the line. 
Ironman Australia is another example, first you had to qualify for this event, by racing a half ironman previously in the year and place well in your age category, making it special just to turn up and race, kind of like hawaii. 
Also the cut off time was shorter, as everyone that qualified was a decent athlete who could generally finish under 15hrs. 
This aside, the races had pride, promoting and paying big international names like Norman stadler, Paula Kiuru, Patrick Verney, Chris McCormack and Peter Reid to name a few.
People made to annual pilgrimage to watch another epic battle unfold amongst the sports greats. 
This race used to sell out a year in advanced like most ironman events, as the buzz was alive with people not wanting to miss out on the chance to race along side their previous heros. 
Now to look at races now, first you don't know what the difference is between a pro "ironman event" and an everyday ironman event, as there is no real clear way for the average joe to follow. and the entries are still open within a few weeks of the event, even now having to squeeze in half ironmans on the same day to make up the numbers. 
Why is this happening? my opinion is that you need to promote champions and heroes for people to follow and inspire to be or be apart of. 
Using a old model of hoping racers will just sell out because of its long history and brand, is a tired and used up model, especially when you don't respect the history in the first place.
You need a constant buzz, a new generation of inspired want to be ironmaners that want to line up on the start line like there chosen hero did. 
Ironman is a long expensive event to train and race for, for most people this is a bucket list item, with no buzz, tick this off then leave the bike in the garage. Onto the next fad, tough mudder, spartan, color run or crossfit etc...   
Start with the basics, the coverage is terrible, they just had a "championship event" last week at ironman texas, and there was no real coverage and you didn't really know what happened till after the event.
Lastly, the "olympic distance" is terrible. Putting a sprint in its place, is not just halving the distance, but halving the history and prestige of the event. 
You don't just go and make the olympic marathon, and go "oh we will just make it a half as it's too long," no the marathon has history and prestige because people stand up for their sport, they don't just let it all go down the toilet as it was the easier option at the time.   
Theres challenges of course, but there needs to be change. Otherwise i see a once booming and promising sport disappear into the realm of fads, like yogos and diablo.