Brave skaters will be racing down a bumpy, windy track near the Chateau Laurier in March 2017.
© Lucy Scholey/Metro
Local politicians and members of the Ottawa 2017 board celebrate the latest announcement for Canada's 150th anniversary on Thursday: Red Bull Crashed Ice.
The Red Bull Crashed Ice final championship, which often takes place in Quebec City, is the latest event to be added to the national capital’s year-long celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.
Ottawa 2017 – the board organizing the sesquicentennial festivities – called Thursday’s announcement “blockbuster.”
“It’s probably the most spectacular site in the history of Red Bull Crashed Ice,” said Guy Laflamme, executive director of Ottawa 2017.
The exact March dates for the free Ice Cross Downhill World Championship – a combination of power skating, ski cross and boardercross – will be announced in the fall.
About 100 of the top athletes from around the world will lace up their skates and zip down the 480-metre track of sharp turns and steep drops. The average speed is 50 km/h, but American athlete Maxwell Dunne clocked a record 82 km/h at a recent Munich event.
Ottawa 2017 and sponsor CIBC will jointly fund the $1.5-million event and Red Bull will invest “millions” of dollars, said Mr. Laflamme. It’s expected to generate $10 million in economic spinoffs for the city. Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury expects it will drum up business in the ByWard Market.
Last year, about 70,000 people showed up for the ice cross downhill finale in Edmonton. Lausanne, Helsinki, Prague, Moscow, and Niagara Falls have also hosted Red Bull Crashed Ice.
There’s still no word on whether the NHL Winter Classic or the CFL Grey Cup will be part of the Ottawa 2017 agenda. But Mayor Jim Watson sounded hopeful and even went so far as to say he’s expecting an announcement within the next six or seven months.
This article originally appeared on metronews.ca on Jan. 21.