On March 4th, The Oakley Arctic Challenge (TAC) announced that it is searching the globe for a new home in 2009, while its current venue – the Holmenkollen Ski Jump arena in Oslo – is re-built to host the ski world championships in 2011.
"We are looking in both Europe and North America," Henning Andersen, TAC CEO, stated. "Vancouver is a great area for us, but also other North American resorts and areas."
Andersen said there are a number of amenities that a location must offer to host the unique 6 star TTR event, which has helped push the level of competitive snowboarding over the years. "The riding infrastructure has to have world class potential. It's not necessary that the resort has made world-class event before, but it has to have potential. Meaning that the terrain and arena opportunities have to be perfect. It has to be great for riders, production crew, TV, sponsors and spectators. The equipment is key; Pist machines, excavators, pipe dragons, snowmobiles, lifts, etc."
"Also experience in shaping and making great snow constructions, but this competence can be bought, and we also bring some people to the table," Andersen continued. Other key factors in the decision include housing availability, ease of transportation, local financing to enhance the venue and a solid local organizer. TAC has until the May 22nd TTR General Assembly to lock in a location, in order to apply to maintain its 6 star TTR rating, which is the highest on the scale.
But perhaps the biggest factor in the decision is a location's "uniqueness," according to Andersen.
"TAC cannot make just another resort event," says Andersen. "It needs some unique flavor to it. This is not easy to explain, but very crucial for us when we decide what to do. You have to be there, check it out, see the opportunities, create a unique concept so all involved can have a great time, it's not only about the contest, but the whole experience."
According to a press release, "Oslo has been a great city for TAC with solid backup from the Municipality and the local crowd. The unique lifestyle/action combo with parties/concerts downtown and snowboarding a short bus ride away has resulted in historic positive feedback from riders, sponsors and fans. The TV pictures have been described as one of the best snowboard TV productions ever. With this bag of goodies, TAC is not leaving Oslo joyfully."
More information about TAC can be found at the contest’s official Web site, HERE. Interested parties can contact Henning Andersen by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +47 90695119.