Andorra la Vella, Tuesday 27 April 2021.
Andorra is aspiring to host for the first time the most important alpine skiing event in the world in terms of organization and popularity. The Pyrenean country, led by the Andorran Ski Federation (FAE), will soon present its candidacy to the International Ski Federation (FIS) for holding the 2027 World Championships. Never before have the Pyrenees hosted such an important sporting landmark. The countdown begins for the one-year period in which the Principality will be measured against big names such as Crans-Montana (Switzerland) and Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany). The decision will be taken in the town of Villamoura (Portugal) during the FIS Congress in May 2022 with the vote of the 17 members of the FIS Council, who will determine the host.
The World Championships are held every two years, last more than 15 days, and are held during the month of February, coinciding with the high season in the snow sector. The competition consists of 13 events with over 750 athletes from more than 70 countries. The organization expects to have the invaluable support of more than 500 volunteers, who will be the soul of the event. More than 1,000 communication professionals will cover the races in situ, and the events are offered live on more than 100 channels around the world. The forecast for hotel occupancy is to take on nearly 50,000 hotel nights to accommodate athletes, the sporting family, and the media, among others.
Cortina d’Ampezzo (Italy) hosted the last championship and the resorts of Courchevel-Méribel (France) and Saalbach (Austria) will be the next hosts in 2023 and 2025, respectively. Due to the size and characteristics of the event, the host is chosen with a margin of five years in which to work on the organization.
Operating budget of 40 million euros
The approximate budget for organizing World Championships is about 40 million euros, which comes from TV and sponsorship rights. The FIS sells these and transfers to the organizing committee the part corresponding to operating expenses. This means that no public contributions are needed to cover the operating budget, a very important fact especially at the present time.
Candidacy for the whole country
Andorra's candidacy is as an entire country, a feature that distinguishes it from the resorts that have traditionally been home to world championships. The sporting concept is that of a compact venue, with races on the consolidated World Cup pistes of Avet and Àliga in Soldeu and El Tarter in Grandvalira, combined with an extended venue throughout the country with the daily presentation of medals and the activity program in Andorra la Vella, as well as various acts that will be located in other areas of the Principality. Andorra 2027 has the institutional support of the Government, of the seven parishes, and the backing of the hotel associations and local business.
Objectives of the candidacy
The master plan for the candidacy began to be developed at the end of February 2020. A small team divided into different specialized areas has worked in depth for more than a year on the conceptual and practical aspects of organizing World Championships in Andorra. The vision for the event is based on some essential pillars that are inspired by the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals:
Sustainability. Contributing to the construction of a new country model that allows the current Andorra to evolve towards a long-term sustainable model.
Inclusion. Turning the resort and the country into a source of inspiration for different groups thanks to the improvement of integrated and accessible products, services, and infrastructures that make it possible to eliminate barriers and promote social inclusion and equal opportunities.
Skiing and health. Promoting from an early age the healthy habits that the practising of sport brings, encouraging at the same time continuous training towards professional and elite skiing.
The Andorra experience. Providing the best possible experience during the event for the sporting family, spectators, and citizens of the country.
The Andorra brand. Achieving maximum fame for the country, strengthening its position as a world-class snow tourist destination.
Projection in the World Cup
Access to the elite of alpine skiing was promoted by the FAE and the Soldeu El Tarter sectors of Grandvalira more than a decade ago. The successful organizing of different events of the European Cup was positively assessed by the FIS, which awarded Soldeu the first women’s slalom and giant slalom World Cup in 2012. The path continued with new opportunities and challenges for growth in organizational experience with the holding of new European Cups and European Cup Finals. In 2016, El Tarter premiered in the great white circus with the women's supergiant and alpine combined events. The ambition of the team continued, and after a new European Cup Final event, Grandvalira organized the 2019 World Cup Finals with the participation of the 25 best skiers on the planet in all disciplines, crowning Mikaela Shiffrin and Marcel Hirscher as winners of the Crystal Globe.
Feasibility of the project
FIS is the international federation that, at the time of the 2019 World Cup Finals, encouraged Andorra to analyse the feasibility of World Championships in the Pyrenean country based on the satisfactory assessment of the organization that they had made.
Live broadcast on the country's television
The current health situation caused by COVID-19 forced the organization to look for a solution to reach the entire population of the Principality. As such, the announcement was made on a special programme broadcast by Andorra Televisió and by streaming on its website. The director general of the candidacy, David Hidalgo, was in charge of announcing this historic moment and was backed by the Head of Government of Andorra, Xavier Espot, the President of Grandvalira-ENSISA and Consul of Canillo, Francesc Camp, and the President of the Andorran Ski Federation (FAE), Josep Pintat.
During the programme, the logo of the candidacy was also unveiled, which consists of the symbolic fusion of the emblematic Avet and Àliga pistes, representing the flora and fauna of the Pyrenees.