A historic capital of Saxony ( and current capital of the Free State of Saxony within the Federal Repubic of Germany) , is known worldwide for its art museums and cultural events.
Now the organizers of the Skiweltcup Dresden want to add a new reason to visit the historic city – the FIS Cross-country Skiing World Cup stage.
It’s city ski sprint, of course – the competition that has ardent supporters and skeptics alike. One thing nobody can deny is that it’s original and goes a long way in attracting new fans to the great sport of cross country skiing.
Here’s what we think is remarkable about the Dresden event:
– The 1.4km sprint course requires several thousand cubic meters of snow – the organizers have produced some 4.500m3 to cover all eventualities the Saxonian weather could throw at them
– The snow was produced at the airport of Dresden by the so-called “snow factory” that was up and running since late November. To produce snow in consistently above-zero temperatures takes both knowledge and experience, but expert snowmakers have managed to overcome all obstacles on their path.
– The snow is made from rain water in order to be more eco-friendly.
– The Skiweltcup Dresden will be the most opulent location the skiing competition was ever held – on the banks of Elbe between imposing state government buldings and the Zwinger art gallery across the river. ( OK, Stockholm’s city sprint by the Royal Palace was pretty cool too)
Visitors stands would not be a temporary affair as is the norm – in fact, those are built from local sand stone. The matter is, the Skiweltcup Dresden is sharing its location with Filmnächte am Elbufer, a two-month long movie and concert festival that is being held for nearly 30 years and that became one of Germany’s prime go-to events of the summer. So, the terraces were built for festival goers – ski fans just get to enjoy them!
– Unlike Düsseldorf, Moscow or Stockholm, previous locations of city sprints, Dresden thinks strategically: the Skiweltcup is already in the FIS calendar througout 2021 and, should things go as planned, become as permanent of a venue as, say, Falun or Holmenkollen.
– Dresden itself does not see much of snow lately, but it’s actually quite a skiing city – The Ore Mountains nearby are dotted with famous ski destinations, closest of which, biathlon center Altenberg is only about 45 minute drive away.
– It took three years of careful planning, onworking local politicians and sponsors and then hard work of implementing what was designed. 6 staffers of the organizing committee are being helped by some 230 volunteers. Separately, 60 specialists will be involved in live TV production of the event.
– The event will be broadcast at pan-German ZDF public channel as well as Euronews to the rest of the continent.
– Total budget runs to 1.2 mln Euros of which roughly half are provided by the local and state authorities ( with money coming from advertizing & promo budgets) and the rest the organizers are expecting to make from private sponsors and ticket sales.
Says Viktoria Franke , spokeswoman for the Orginizing committee
” …For us it is important to not just promote the sport of XC to the fans visiting, but to also do some legwork in regards of the talent and youth work. Some ski clubs are struggling to find new members and the Ski World Cup in a big city could reach a new target group and interest new kids and families in joining XC skiing and the ski clubs…
Stand by for in-depth coverage of the Skiweltcup Dresden on DailySkier.com