The brand new Holmenkollen Ski Jump has been closed to the public once again, as construction crews work feverishly on finishing touches needed before the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships begin in February.
Visitors venturing up to the ski jump site are likely to be disappointed. Not only has the ski jump’s observation platform, which opened in July, been closed but so has the adjacent ski museum and the surrounding complex.
“In this final phase, we had to close the whole area,” construction boss Erik Øimoen told newspaper Aften. “It’s a construction zone here once again, and security concerns don’t allow the public to wander around.”
That means no views from the top of the jump that city and ski association officials were urging residents and tourists alike to visit in July and August. Despite some start-up problems with the elevator carrying visitors up to the top of the jump, the site quickly became a major tourist attraction.
Ticket sales started last week for the World Championships and organizers claim they’re going well. Around 55,000 of the roughly 200,000 tickets available for the various events have been sold, but seats or standing-room spots are still available for all events, Nina Horn Hynne of Ski-VM 2011 told Aften. She said the most popular events seemed to be the sprint, the men’s relay and the ski jumping at Holmenkollen.
The new ski jump and its adjacent facilities have cost taxpayers USD 100 million more than budgeted, forced the resignation of the city official in charge and sparked traffic and construction chaos in the area for nearly two years, but politicians and sports bureaucrats insist it’s worth all the fuss. The complex will re-open just before the World Championships begin on February 23.