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Peter Riedel Sports Technology

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Renovation of Inselbergschanze possible – future Ladies’ World Cups as well?

on 2019-12-03

2015 was supposed to be the darkest year in the history of ski jumping in Brotterode. It looked like the COC history and the history of the Inselbergschanze both have come to an end. But the story turned out well and the COC will come back also in 2020. At least. Plans for a renovation of the ski jump are getting more and more concrete. talks newest details.

In February 2015, it seemed the end has come. The end of the history of Continental Cups in Brotterode and also of the Inselbergschanze, the venue of these events. The public interest was high, the passionate lovers of this event even cried tears. But it was not the ultimate goodbye. Even better: The COC came back every year ever since and will also come back in 2020. Basically, thanks to provisional hill certificates the International Ski Federation (FIS) has issued. And it appears the history will be continued.

But this can only happen if a renovation is going to happen, probably from spring 2020 on. A feasibility study showed that this is definitely possible: Now, all involved parties now what needs to be done and how much invest it would need to take. According to the website "", the costs for this project would be between 5.3 and 5.5 million Euro. The lower end would be the basic investment for the building processes at the ski jump itself.

In the center of the action will be the inrun tower, which does not match to the strict FIS standards since already 2015. An expected or suspected re-built tower will not be necessary since the construction structurally is fine. The inrun length shall be shortened and the angle a bit more sharpened by 1.2 degrees. The head of the ski jump will be destroyed and completely rebuilt, so that a warming room for the athletes, but also a visitors’ platform will find their space. The biggest issue of the inrun actually is its width. It is too slim and gets even slimmer during the competitions, when the ski jumpers are climbing up the stairs at the sides with their skis in order to get to the starting gates. Why? Because there is no elevator in the inrun tower. Also this shall be changed in the future, so that the dangerous and complicated climbing for the athletes will also not be necessary anymore. In addition to that, a modern (ice) inrun track shall be installed, which would terminate the days of the exhausting and difficult preparation of a snow track. The landing slope will remain as it is these days.

The additional 2.2 million Euros would be invested into a lift from the outrun up to the inrun tower. This would replace the small busses which transport the ski jumpers nowadays. This lift is not mandatory according to FIS rules, but it shall turn the whole ski jumping arena into a tourist attraction. The arena shall become part of the "Thuringia-Tourist-Concept 2025”, says project leader Christoph Zimmermann. As an example for the future use of the arena, he named the touristic benefit of the Heini-Klopfer-Skiflugschanze in Oberstdorf. Probably also because this venue was devised by Hans-Martin Renn, the architect who also will be in charge at Brotterode.

Inselbergschanze as a tourist attraction? Yes! Brotterode as a Ladies' World Cup host? Maybe!

With the realization of this project, Brotterode is hoping and aiming for more international attention, since the facility would match World Cup standards. Thuringians are aiming for hosting a Ladies’ World Cup in the future. "There are plans for a Four Hills Tour for the ladies. Brotterode might be one stage", Zimmermann explains. Since 2018, the ladies are also part of the COC, after there were already two competitions in 2011.

But not only the ski jumping hill itself shall become more attractive, a couple of more attractions shall be added as well. For instance, VR simulations glasses shall make the visitors put into the ski jumpers’ situation and view during a ski jump. Moreover also a ZIP-line might be installed – similar to the Holmenkollen in Oslo or the ski flying hill in Planica. With that, tourists slide down a cable from the top of the ski jumping hill to the outrun – just above the ski jump.

The only major question that needs to be answered is the public funding for this project. It may vary between 60 percent in case of a sport-only facility or 90 percent in case also the tourist value will be increased. It is up to the ministers’ to possibly change the funding rate. According to Zimmermann’s statements, the district of Schmalkalden-Meiningen will not be able to pay more than 900,000 Euros of its own.

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