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Falun 2015 enters next phase of preparations
The 5th meeting of the FIS Coordination Group for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2015 took place in Falun on 11th-12th September 2012 at the Lugnet venue, which is also the home of the Swedish Ski Association. The growing ‘red team’ of the Falun 2015 Organising Committee welcomed the representatives of FIS, EBU and its marketing partner Tridem Sports, host broadcaster SVT along with the City of Falun’s project management, for two days of comprehensive review of the current state of their preparations.
A key milestone for Falun 2015 is the commencement of the construction work to reshaping the jumping hills. During the summer, the preparatory excavations in the area from the cross-country stadium to the jumping hills began with the first phase of the work covering the provision of basic services such as power, water and heating to the ski jumping facilities. Major excavation work involved in bringing the landing slopes up to modern requirements has also got underway and the groundwork should be completed by the summer of 2013. At the same time, work is in progress to further develop the cross-country arena and tracks for the 2015 Championships and most of this should already be completed in time for this winter’s FIS World Cup events in March 2013.
“Considerable work has been done since our last visit in April and the preparations are progressing well. After our concerns in spring, it is great to see the construction work finally getting underway. The schedule is tight with no margin for delays, so it is necessary to remain vigilant and keep a strict control on the timetable. The master plan foresees FIS World Cup competitions taking place in season 2013/14 and summer 2014 and the construction team is confident that they can deliver,“ commented FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis. “Alongside the facility construction, growth of the Organising Committee team is bringing new expertise in key areas.”
Sven von Holst, the Chairman of the Board of the Organizing Committee stated: “The initial planning phase is now finished, and we enter a more intensive period of preparations. We have encountered some obstacles on the way, but our sights are now set forwards. We need to be ready, our dates are given and we cannot lose any time. But I feel confident especially given the strong support from the City of Falun and our ambition is to involve the entire region of Dalarna in the Championships.”
Jonny Gahnshag, Mayor of City of Falun, reaffirmed: “The critical period of April has been overcome and work at Lugnet is progressing well. I too am confident and think that our focus must now move to opportunities for regional development and serving companies interested to use our facilities for their activities as well as to engaging children and youth in the sport of skiing.”
In general, one of the main goals of the event is to attract 200,000 spectators during the event, especially along the tracks and at the jumping stadium currently being re-constructed. The ticket sales for the Championships are expected to launch at the time of the final test events in the spring of 2014, ready to fill the Lugnet stadium whose capacity will reach 60,000 per day.
In order to inform the local communities about the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, the Organising Committee plans a road show around the region of Dalarna to inform all 15 communities and engage the region’s citizens in the event. Launching its promotional activities and opportunities for, Falun 2015 has already launched a competition to select a mascot for the event to succeed Bubo the eagle-owl that was the mascot for the Falun 1993. The competition is open for schoolchildren and junior members of sports clubs all over Sweden but anybody can send in their entries on the basis of a drawing or a model with a name. The winner will be announced at the World Cup Finals in March 2013 and the mascot introduced during the summer of 2013.
The next Coordination Group in Falun is planned in conjunction with the Official Debrief of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Val di Fiemme 2013 on 6-7th May 2013 where the torch is effectively passed to Falun to deliver the next edition of the event.