EDMONTON — A major BMX sporting event is coming to Edmonton this summer.
In its only Canadian stop, the FISE World Series 2016 (FWS) will take over Hawrelak Park and Gallagher Park from Sept. 16 to 18.
The event is touted as an action sports championship that brings together the world’s best riders in BMX, skateboarding, mountain biking, inline skating and wakeboarding.
Mountain bike slopestyle, skateboard, BMX flat and freestyle competitions will take place during the event in Edmonton. The event, which is free to attend, also comes with vendors and beer gardens.
Edmonton Economic Development said the city’s success with the Red Bull Crashed Ice last year put the city in a good place to bid for the extreme sports event.
“I think that Edmonton’s been identified as one of the best sport cities in the world,” Ward 9 councillor Bryan Anderson said. “Major events come here because of a great volunteer work ethic and an interest and the proof is in the pudding.
“We’ve proven that if it comes here it’s going to get done, it’s going to get done well.”
The City of Edmonton and Edmonton Tourism are contributing $1.5 million to the event. The city anticipates it could bring in upwards of $20.5 million to the Edmonton region. Anderson believes it will also draw in people from neighbouring provinces.
“There should be something for everybody. Not one thing for everybody but a variety of things that will give visitors to our city and people who live in our city an opportunity to enjoy sport, recreation and entertainment.”
The FISE World Series was created in 1997 in Montpellier, France. Since then it’s hosted more than 240 events around the world. It’s the third-largest gathering event in France behind the Tour de France and the Vendee Globe.
On its website, FWS said Edmonton is the perfect location for a FISE event because of its arts and culture scene, and because it has one of the biggest French communities in western Canada.
Watch below: FISE World Series 2016 making 5 stops, including Edmonton
The FWS makes its first stop in Montpellier, France from May 4-8. Other stops on the 2016 tour include Osijek, Croatia, Denver, Colorado and Chengdu, China.
The event is for amateurs and pros. Participants compete to accumulate points and win prize money in each of the stops. Overall rankings are calculated at the end of the year to determine overall winner in each discipline.
Edmonton has signed on to host the event for three years, with the option to extend.