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Klagenfurt’s 28 Black Arena to become a big air stadium

Featured image credit: Zangerle

The 28 Black Arena in Klagenfurt, Austria is set to stage its latest eye-catching non-football event with the International Ski and Snowboard Federation’s (FIS) Freeski & Snowboard World Cup to descend on the venue otherwise known as Wörthersee Stadion.

The stadium, home of Austrian Bundesliga football club SK Austria Klagenfurt, will host the event from December 31 to January 5, with the main competitions on the final two days expected to draw 150 athletes and 40,000 spectators.

The staging of the event will see a huge ramp built in the 30,000-seat 28 Black Arena for a month to host the big air competition. The 450-tonne steel structure will be 45 metres high and will tower 15 metres above the stadium itself.

A total area of ​​1,500 square metres will be covered with snow, with the budget for the event set at around €2.5m (£2.14m/$2.66m). In addition to the sporting action, international music acts will also perform while there will be a large after-show party.

Klagenfurt is the capital of the state of Carinthia with local officials hoping the FIS Freeski & Snowboard World Cup can act as a tourism showcase. Carinthia’s Sports Officer, Peter Kaiser, said it will “cause a stir worldwide”.

Klagenfurt’s Mayor, Christian Scheider, added: “Imaginative events like this show once again that it was the right decision at the time to preserve the Wörthersee Stadion as a multi-purpose venue. Klagenfurt can offer optimal conditions for events of all kinds.”

Austrian Ski Association (ÖSV) president, Roswita Stadlober, said: “Our goal is to bring new competitions and formats to Austria and, above all, to urban areas. We are pleased that this is possible together with the organisers of events in Klagenfurt.

“Freeski & Snowboard Big Air World Cups have already taken place in Europe, but such an event in a football stadium is a first. It will be a spectacular event for all participants and visitors that should definitely not be missed.”

Wörthersee Stadion previously created global headlines back in 2019 as it was transformed into a temporary forest as part of an installation by Swiss artist Klaus Littmann.