Red Bull Crashed Ice skipping Edmonton in 2017
The extreme winter sporting event that transformed downtown Edmonton and attracted thousands of spectators a year-and-a-half ago won’t be coming back this winter.
Red Bull Crashed Ice revealed its schedule for the upcoming season and Alberta’s capital isn’t on the list. It wasn’t in Edmonton in 2016 either.
Here are the venues for the new season:
- Jan. 13 and 14 in Marseille, France
- Jan. 20 and 21 in Jyväsklyä-Laajis, Finland
- Feb. 3 and 4 in Saint Paul, U.S.
- March 3 and 4 in Ottawa
Ottawa will host its first-ever Crashed Ice event. Organizers said the season will conclude in the city to highlight Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
Knowing Red Bull wanted to go to Ottawa, Coun. Scott McKeen said Edmonton graciously backed down.
“It wasn’t a case of non-support here, it wasn’t a case of Red Bull not wanting to come back, it was a case of Red Bull wanting to be in the nation’s capital for the 150th. That’s what I understand.”
Red Bull Crashed Ice said the Ottawa track will be built on the city’s iconic locks system where a crowd of more than 100,000 is expected.
The Riders Cup calendar features the following dates:
- Dec. 10 in Wagrain-Kleinarl, Austria
- Jan. 28 in Rautalampi, Finland
- Jan. 28 in Sherbrooke, Que.
- Feb. 4 in Moscow, Russia
- Feb. 18 in La Sarre, Que.
- Feb. 25 in Bathurst, N.B.
In 2015, Edmonton hosted the extreme winter race for the first time.
The high-energy event drew more than 70,000 people to Edmonton’s river valley and may have generated up to $10 million in economic activity.
“The hotels were full, bars and restaurants were packed and that’s what we like to see,” James Jackson, Edmonton Tourism’s event development manager, said that March.
“From Edmonton Tourism’s perspective, we saw a lot of external people coming into town and I think everybody was blown away with the response of Edmontonians and of the product itself.”
At the time, McKeen said the event was “a really good bang for the buck here.” He thought the city, through Edmonton Economic Development, put in about $400,000 and the city would look to see if that was a good investment or not.
Nicole Poirier, director of civic events, said the city is still negotiating with Red Bull to look at a future event in Edmonton.
“We don’t know when that will be. We’re excited to have them back and we believe they’re excited to be back here, in that the event in 2015 was a huge success. So that’s what we’re working on these days.”
While unseasonably warm March weather had crews covering the course in tarp and forced the Friday afternoon races to be pushed back, athletes and fans praised the track – and the event.
“I think it’s a great track,” Adam Horst, a veteran Crashed Ice competitor from Fort St. John, B.C., said. “They didn’t get too crazy with any of the new technical stuff, but it is fast.”
The hockey and motocross athlete has competed in Crashed Ice seven times.
“It’s been an amazing adventure.”
With files from Scott Johnston, 630 CHED.
© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc