Host of Nordic WSC 2019 to be found
The 49th FIS Congress in Barcelona has already started and on Thursday the decision on the host of the Nordic World Ski Championships 2019 is to be made. We shortly present the candidates Almaty, Oberstdorf, Planica and Seefeld.
An outsider in the fight for WSC 2019 is Almaty, who is applying for the very first time. The largest city of Kazakhstan has only little history in Nordic Skiing disciplines, but established itself as an organizer of international competitions in wintersports in the last few years.
The Asian Winter Games were held in Almaty in 2011 and therefore competitive sports facilities were constructed in advance. The ski jumping complex with K125 and K95 replaced an old ski jump at Gorney Gigant and has since been used also in ski jumping Grand Prix and COC, as well as for World Cups of Nordic Combined. Furthermore, the Winter-Univeriade is going to be held there in 2017 and Almaty is candidate for 2022 Winter Olympics.
Oberstdorf in Allgaeu is in contrast an old hand when it comes to the organization of Nordic Skiing competitions on world class level. Already in 1987 and 2005 the Nordic World Ski Championships have taken place there, furthermore it is an annual stage of the traditional Four Hills Tournament and a World Cup host in Nordic Combined and Cross Country Skiing.
Ski jumping competitions would take place on both Schattenberg ski jumps K120 and K95 in Erdinger Arena, which was modernized for the WSC 2005. The normal hill was furthermore just reconstructed in 2011 and is one of the most modern of its kind in the world.
An advantage of Oberstdorf, which failed with its last three subsequent WSC applications, is surely its enthusiastic audience on the hills and in Ried cross-country area. However, a disadvantage could be the fact that it is the only applicant also for the Ski Flying World Championships in 2018, which is awarded on a regular cycle and is surely given to the Heini Klopfer Ski Flying hill at Oberstdorf.
The frenetic Slovenian spectators, who create a wonderful atmosphere every year during the World Cup Finals in Ski Jumping, are one of the main arguments for Planica. Together with Oberstdorf the "Valley of ski jumps" in north-western Slovenia is a hot candidate for the WSC 2019, lately its application for WSC 2017 only lost against Lahti in the third election round.
Planica, the Mekka of Ski Flying, has been a traditional host already since 1930's with "Letalnica" ski flying hill, which is currently under conversion. To provide Nordic Skiing with a more solid foundation, around 50 million Euros have been invested into the new "Planica Nordic Center" in recent years. The ancient flying hill and former large hill "Bloudkova Velikanka" was converted into a modern large and normal hill with HS 139 and HS 104, five palstic covered junior hills were built and the general infrastructure improved. For a possible Nordic WSC a cross-country skiing center is to be added.
Seefeld in Tyrol is another traditional wintersports destination and was already organizer of the Nordic World Ski Championships in 1985, and also host of Winter Olympics of Innsbruck in 1964 and 1976, and Youth Games 2012. Now it has launched the application for another Nordic WSC for the first time.
The concept centralizes the competitions at Casino-Arena in Seefeld, which provide an onyl 2010 modernized HS 109 normal hill with Toni-Seelos-Olympiaschanze and also the cross-country skiing facilities. However, large hill competitions in Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined would have to take place on Bergisel-Schanze HS 130 in Innsbruck, about 25 km from Seefeld.
Ski Jumps:Almaty (Gorney Gigant)
Oberstdorf (Skisprung Arena)
Planica (Nordic Center)
Seefeld (Casino Arena)