On May 25 Italy’s alpine skiing community proposed to the FIS (International Ski Federation) Council that World Championships – scheduled to be held in Cortina in February 2021 – be postponed to 2022.
Representatives of the Italian government, the Veneto Region, Belluno Province, Municipality of Cortina, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), and the Italian Winter Sports Federation (FISI), who make-up the Cortina 2021 Foundation, presented the idea to the council. Their hope to put on a great sporting event in the best possible conditions, as far removed from the pandemic as possible.
The cancellation of World Cup Finals scheduled for last March has already caused significant economic and image damage, as well as a missed opportunity to test new infrastructures and operational plans prior to championships in February 2021. The revenue that would have come from TV rights and partnerships that could not be honored was lost.
Since the Foundation is a non-profit entity, CONI and FISI have ensured liquidity for five and 14 million Euros respectively, thanks to bank loans at the Italian Sport Credit Institute. But a cancellation at the last minute would still cause serious damage to the promotion of Alpine skiing in the Italian mountains and carry yet another financial blow to the organization.
As requested by FIS, the Foundation – and all its stakeholders – should be ready and able to manage any type of situation that may arise. From holding the World Cup without a live audience to a possible cancellation of the event. The latter is a situation the Foundation cannot afford to face as it would lead to a dry loss of over 30 million Euros.
The FIS Council is taking the proposal under consideration and will be making a final decision on the matter by July 1st.
“The Italian hope is that the decision to postpone the World Cup will be taken,” commented the President of FISI, Flavio Roda, rapporteur of the proposal within the Council. “Sponsors and the public expect Cortina to present a World Cup of the highest level, both from an organizational and show point of view. All this can be done only in maximum health security and being able to test all the new infrastructures and operational processes behind a major international event. I think that by moving forward the appointment with the World Cup it is possible to implement the best of the Italian tradition and organizational experience and how to make the best way to launch the road to Milan – Cortina 2026 “.
Release courtesy of FISI.