Canada’s biggest snowboard event kicks off this December in Edmonton.
Commonwealth Stadium will host the country’s first ever Snowboard FIS World Cup “Stadium” Big Air from Dec 9-10.
The event is known as “The Style Experience” and Edmonton will be the first North American stop on the 2022/23 FIS World Tour — it’s the only in-stadium snowboard event in Canada.
At an announcement at Commonwealth Thursday morning, the director of business operations for Canada Snowboard described the setup.
Brendan Matthews said the seats from the upper bowl and lower bowl in one corner of the stadium will be taken out, and a scaffolding jump will be built that will go almost right to the top.
“The athletes will…go up an elevator, walk across the concourse, up the stairs to the top and that’s where they drop in. The ramp comes down to almost the height of the goalposts for the football stadium,” Matthews explained.
“They hit this massive jump, there’s a big gap that they fly over and then there’s a huge landing that they land on to that will come right down to the field level.”
The goal is to create a family-friendly environment all afternoon then in the evening, it will be more of a “party atmosphere” with music and concerts. The finals will be at night under the stadium lights when it’s dark out.
“We think that there’s going to be a massive crowd here and we’re excited for Edmontonians to come see it,” Matthews said.
The target for this year is 15,000 fans at Commonwealth.
“You’ve got a massive football stadium here, so there’s really no limit on the number of people we can have,” Matthews said.
“It would be a blend of the fans being in the seats and also coming down on the field.”
The event will showcase some of the best snowboarders in the world like three-time Olympic medallist Maxence Parrot, silver Olympic medallist Laurie Blouin and three-time Olympic medallist Mark McMorris.
“The stadium setup in Edmonton looks epic and it’s always amazing to compete in front of a huge Canadian crowd,” Blouin said in a news release.
“I’m stoked there will be a Big Air event back in Canada this year. I can’t wait to compete in front of all the fans and be part of such an exciting new event.” Parrot said.
Parrot said it’s a big jump for the athletes. They get up to 30 feet of air and travel about 60 feet.
“We go high in the air, we do spins on our snowboard…triple flips,” Parrot said. “It’s pretty impressive.”
In the news release, Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said Edmonton has a rich history of hosting major events and the FIS World Cup will be no exception.
“We look forward to showcasing Commonwealth Stadium — and our ability to think differently — by bringing snowboarding into an urban environment. Our city is a place of year-round action, and events such as this are important to showcase Edmonton as a vibrant place to live and play. ”
The hope is this becomes an annual event in December.
Ticket sales, detailed schedules and additional festival elements will be announced over the summer and into fall.