From 1977, the date of the first World Cup races on the Valais Haut-Plateau, until 1998, the resort of Crans-Montana occupied an important place on the International Ski Federation (FIS) calendar. The highlight during this period was the organisation of the unforgettable World Ski Championships in 1987. Thereafter, between 1999 and 2007, for various reasons Crans-Montana unfortunately had to resign itself to withdrawing from the circuit.
A NEW ERA FOR THE WORLD CUP RACES BEGAN IN 2008 on the Valais Haut Plateau, with Marius Robyr in charge of the Organisation Committee. The brigadier and ex-commanding officer of the “Patrouille des Glaciers" managed to convince the political and tourist authorities how vitally important the World Cup races were for a prominent ski destination such as Crans-Montana. Since its return to the White Circus in 2008, Crans-Montana has hosted no less than 18 FIS World Cup races, 18 European Cup races and 5 FIS races, not forgetting the 2009 European Cup finals and the Junior World Championships in 2011.
THIS CONVINCING RECORD HAS PAID OFF. The International Ski Federation (FIS) guaranteed that from 2016 onwards, Crans-Montana would have a permanent place on the World Cup calendar. As for the Swiss-Ski delegates, they have appointed the Valais resort official Swiss candidate for the organisation of the World Championships in 2025, (or 2027, or perhaps 2029). And that’s not all: if in September 2019 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) selects Switzerland to host the 2026 Winter Olympic Games, appointing the Valais candidate"Sion 2026", Crans-Montana will be the setting for all the men’s and ladies’ Alpine ski races.
The total transformation of a somewhat outdated finish stadium dating from the 1987 World Championships into
A MULTIFUNCTIONAL ARENA, where major events could be held in summer as well as winter, is one of the key points. Plans have already been drawn up, reflecting all the FIS demands. There are two versions : the absolute ideal (costing approximately 40 million Swiss francs) and the reduced version (around 25 million). If « Sion 2026 » is victorious, the first of these two versions could see the light of day. 40% of the cost would come from the Confederation (via the CISIN, an organisation dealing with the design of sports facilities of national importance) and 20% from the Canton, with the remainder coming from the Organisation Committee of the Olympic Winter Games „Sion 2026“ and the three communes on the Valais Haut-Plateau.
THE CONCEPT OF THIS NEW ARENA has been designed in different modules. Part of the construction will be permanent, whilst other parts can be erected on a temporary basis, depending on the event. Grandstands are planned for 5,000 people, and it is also possible to adapt these (World championships!). Depending on the final decision, there will be one or two floors of underground car parking. In the absolute ideal version, lorries from the host national broadcasters would also have access. As the finish stadium is one of the smallest areas in the World Cup, the main building, including the grandstands, would be built at the foot of the mountain, parallel to the forest. The semi-circular project, including various important parts of the infrastructure (such as the media centre, rooms for the athlets, volunteers and the Organisation Committee) and car parks, would be underground, making the finish area a central focus, guaranteeing a great atmosphere.
ANOTHER KEY POINT would be the construction of a new 600m chairlift, linking the finish area to the departure point of the slalom. A survey will be done soon to look at lighting the slalom piste. This would make it possible to hold slaloms or parallel slaloms at night, making this new arena an even more attractive prospect. To summarize: by building this multifuntional stadium, Crans-Montana would be following recommendations by looking at lasting durability. When presented to various interested parties, the plans have captured their full attention, as can be seen below.
THE COMMITTEE FOR THE « CRANS-MONTANA/VALAIS 2025 » WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS wants to achieve this goal alongside Swiss-Ski. The Committee is made up of: President of the Strategic Committee: Nicolas Féraud (President of the commune of Crans-Montana), Vice-President: Dr. Urs Lehmann (Swiss-Ski President) ; Executive Director: Marius Robyr (President of the Organisation Committee of the Crans-Montana World Cup races) ; executive Vice-Director: Hugo Steinegger (Vice-President of the Crans-Montana World Cup races); Sport managers: Markus Murmann (Crans-Montana Race Director) and Patrice Morisod (Chief of Course for the World Cup races).
As was the case for St-Moritz before and during the World Ski Championships in 2017, Crans-Montana/Valais and its 2025 candidature will be main partner of Swiss-Ski
AND SPECIFICALLY THE« HOUSE OF SWITZERLAND » during the 2019 World Championships in Åre/SWE. This meeting venue which is so popular with the athletes (medal winners’ celebrations…), sponsors, guests, media and fans, will be expertly managed for the 11th time in a row by Annalisa Gerber, the dynamic head of Swiss-Ski’s Sponsoring and Events. Crans-Montana and Valais will be ensuring that several good wines and delicious culinary specialities from the region will be available to try and enjoy. In Åre, the « House of Switzerland 2019 » (photo: advertising already on site) will play a particularly important host role in view of the Valais candidature for the « Crans-Montana/Valais 2025 » Alpine Ski World Championships.