Press Conference in Innsbruck

The World Cup OC of Gardena-Gröden and Alta Badia (December 18th – 21st) hosted a press conference at the Casino in Innsbruck (Austria) introducing the speed and technical competitions taking place in the two Ladin-speaking valleys.
The Austria Press Agency (APA) called it a “successful” press conference describing the event in a lengthy article (as compared to ANSA from Italy). APA’s main focus was the current disagreement between the Italian Winter Sport Federation FISI and the Italian World Cup event organizers demonstrating yet again a deep knowledge on what is happening in the world if skiing.

The article was shared with all major European news agencies with the heading “South Tyrol in a clinch with the South Tyrolean Ski Federation”. APA quoted Stefania Demetz, General Director/CEO of the OC in Gardena-Gröden as well as Marcello Varallo, President of Alta Badia. Excerpts from the article are as follows: Ski President of Alta Badia Marcello Varallo states “Up to 2010 we’re ok, but we have no idea what will happen after that” despite all speed events on the Saslong in Gardena-Gröden and technical events on the Gran Risa in Alta Badia are set on the FIS Calendar that extends to 2014. “We are quarreling with FISI and don’t know how we will be able to finance the races starting in 2011.”

FISI’s President Gianni Morzenti claims all TV revenues belong to the Federation “This means that we’d lose 35% of our revenues in one fell swoop.” says Mr. Varallo. “That is so significant that it puts our races in jeopardy” adds Stefania Demetz who is General Director/CEO of the Ski Club in Gardena-Gröden which needs €2 million for this year’s races as compared to Alta Badia’s €1.6 million.”

The World Cup venues located in Eastern Italy including Gardena-Gröden, Alta Badia, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Tarvis and also Val Di Fiemme (Nordic Ski) have proposed a compromise whereby 35% of the TV revenues (compared to the current 30%) will be given to the FISI with the balance remaining with the host. This proposal has not even been considered for discussion.

Mr. Varallo threatens Mr. Morzeni to nominate a rival candidate for the upcoming election for the Federation. “It is easier for Sestriere, they have a large conglomerate supporting them (note: FIAT) and won’t suffer if they fall short by €500,000.“ explains Mr. Varallo.

All this confirms that the concerns of Gardena-Gröden and Alta Badia who both belong to the Club 5+ association bringing together 13 of the largest and most venerable World Cup hosts worldwide, are heard and followed also outside Italy.