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Nordic Ski World Championships 2021 in Oberstdorf: Conversion has started

on 2019-04-22

After season always means: Preparation time. And so it is in Oberstdorf, the hosting city of the next FIS Nordic Ski World Championships in 2021. The works have already begun, so will give you an overview about what is going to be different.

It is not the easiest task to convert a facility that is constantly in use - no matter if it is a football stadium or a ski jumping venue. The difficulty in Oberstdorf is the rare space in which the Audi Arena has been built. The Faltenbach, a river that comes from the mountains, is just flowing below the arena. The concrete, which is the essential for the spectators' stands, needs to be renovated, and therefor a scaffold hat be build to cross the Faltenbach.

A little higher up the mountain, right next to the arena, the area for the TV compound shall be enlarged. To make this possible, some trees have been taken down and the area has been flattened. This was the start for the renovation alongside demolishing the two smallest of the five ski jumping hills in the arena. These will be replaced by completely new HS 25 and HS 42 ski jumping hills - of course with plastic mattings.

Plastic mattings get a new home

Plastic mattings is THE keyword these days. Since the landing slopes of the both world championships ski jumps (HS 137 and 106) have to be modernized either, the plastic of these two ski jumps has been removed. But, it will not be thrown away. Other ski clubs from Germany contacted the ski club Oberstdorf and asked for those plastic mattings and took them away. The SV Fortuna Pöhla 1884 e.V., ski club of legend Jens Weißflog, collected 1500 of those mattings and brought them to their place in order to rebuild their K3, K10 and K20 ski jumping hills.

The WSV Braunlage, Germany's oldest ski club, sent some volunteers 600km down to Oberstdorf, so that they would take plastic mattings back to Lower Saxony. Since they took them themselves and the SC Oberstdorf did not ask for any money, they saved about 80,000 Euros (around 15,000 for the club). Moreover, the plastic is eleven years younger than what is at Braunlage currently. And these are just two examples of many.

Infrastructure projects

Another general project is the improvisation of the snow production system in the whole arena and the installment of a permanent wind protection for the largest hills. There have been temporary wind screens during the Four Hills Tournament and also the ladies' World Cup. But in order to extend the available time for training session throughout the whole year, a permanent solution is necessary. It becomes difficult to jump around noon, especially in summer months due to stronger wind, and this shall be prevented.

Wind is always effecting the choice of inrun length and also this has become more difficult in the past years. Meaning that often there would be more start gates below the existing ones would be needed, an issue that FIS Race Director Walter Hofer already predicted a couple of years ago. Oberstdorf is now reacting to this and so lower inrun gates will be built at the large hill.

Road to Oberstdorf 2021 has just begun

And, last but not least, there are another two features, that will be upgraded in the Audi Arena. For the smaller hills, but also during the Four Hills Tournament, the smaller of the two elevators (on the right hand side of the outrun) is being used frequently. The capacity of this lift shall be enhanced and the access (without a crossing as now) shall be simplified. The track remains the same as nowadays, so it will have its top station at the athletes' village. And also this area shall be rebuilt for the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships 2021.

As usual, the hosts of the past and the next world championships come together for a debrief. This year's debrief took place on the 10th and 11th of April in Oberstdorf. Seefeld's representatives brought their final report of two very successful weeks and showed it to OC members of Oberstdorf and also Planica (2023). The coordination group now will prepare for the test events, which are basically the Four Hills Tournament and the ladies' World Cup again as well as the Tour de Ski in cross country skiing. Oberstdorf is not only experienced that kind of competitions, but also in hosting Nordic Ski World Championships since they already hosted the editions in 1987 and 2005.

The total costs for this project are 39.306.503 Euros and are divided to 14.089.795 for the Audi Arena and 25.216.708 Euro Euros for the cross country stadium Ried. The Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik) funds up to 17.3 million Euros, the Free State of Bavaria up to 20 million, the Landkreis Oberallgäu (region) and the community of Oberstdorf each up to four million Euros, while the owner company funds up to 1.25 million Euros. These shares are yet to fix on the basis of the authorisation.

Ski Jumps:

GER Oberstdorf (Skisprung Arena)


Official homepage of FIS Nordic Ski World Championships Oberstdorf 2021



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