A done deal? Not yet, says Falls mayor
Proposed date for Red Bull Crashed Ice event Nov. 29 to Dec. 1
A date for a Red Bull Crashed Ice championship series event has been secured — or not yet — depending on who you talk to.
“It’s a done deal,” according to Niagara Falls Tourism president Wayne Thomson.
“We’re not totally there yet,” Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati said Tuesday.
And while Thomson said a formal announcement will be made this week, likely in the next day or two at the Wyndham Garden hotel on Stanley Ave., Diodati said that isn’t the case, adding that the Niagara Falls date, once confirmed, will be made sometime in August by Red Bull.
“They want to announce them (the sites for the 2012-2013 tour) at the same time,” Diodati said. The mayor did confirm a meeting to take place at the hotel this week but it was not to make any announcement, rather it was one for industry stakeholders.
Representatives of Red Bull were in Niagara Falls last week to take a look at the proposed site at Murray Hill, and, according to Mayor Jim Diodati, liked what they saw.
“They want to be here as much as we want them,” the mayor said. “The ROI (return on investment is going to be huge. It’s going to be another blockbuster event for Niagara Falls.”
The cost to stage the event has been pegged at $700,000 but it is expected to create an economic impact of some $20 million for the city. The Niagara Tourism Partnership and the provincial government through a Celebrate Ontario grant are chipping in $200,000 apiece while Thomson said the Niagara Falls BIA’s have put in an additional $190,000. NFT has added $25,000 to the pot.
“We’re just a few thousand short,” Thomson said Tuesday, adding that the private sector will be approached to help fill the gap.
Thomson said the event will be a perfect fit for the Falls and will be only one in a series of major events for the city.
“We’re planning for one major event after another,” Thomson said.
But Diodati said although financial commitments have been lined up, talk of the event officially taking place are premature.
“The interest is there, we have the commitments but we’re not there yet,” Diodati said.
Red Bull Crashed Ice is much like ski cross on skates. Competitors race down a 350-metre-long icy track four at a time, reaching speeds up to 70 km/h. In 2012, events on the circuit included stops in Saint Paul, Minn., Valkenburg, The Netherlands, Aare, Sweden and Quebec City.
Officials from Red Bull Canada were not available for comment Tuesday.
The proposed date for the event is Nov. 29 to Dec. 1. The course is expected to start at the Skylon Tower with competitors heading down Murray Hill before making a sharp left turn into Queen Victoria Park.