Koksijde laying out two million Euros to host cyclocross Worlds
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Koksijde laying out two million Euros to host cyclocross Worlds

by Ben Atkins at 4:40 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, World Championships
2012 edition to be the most expensive ever in the name of tourism; much the of sum already recovered through sponsorship and ticket sales

zdenek stybarThe town of Koksijde, on the north coast of Belgium, has laid out almost two million Euros to host this weekend’s World cyclocross championships, the Gazet van Antwerpen reports. This figure though, has been deemed worthwhile by the local municipal council; the town – that also puts on the Duinencross race each November, which has been part of the World Cup since 2006, and hosted the World championships back in 1994 – is dependant on tourism for much of its income, which is why it has paid to put itself in the World spotlight.

“That's the main reason why the municipality of Koksijde put itself forward for the World Championships," confirmed Jan Deramoudt, project manager for the municipal council and coordinator of the event. “Koksijde lives as a coastal town of tourism, and what tourism needs is city marketing; you have to sell yourself.

"Our bid to the UCI was 752,000 Euros,” he explained. “Including hotels and packages that we offer the UCI and Belgian cycling federation, we have arrived at a cost of 1,062,500 Euros.

“Add the organisational costs, and our input for the TV series Flandriens van het veld to that, and you come to a price tag of around 2 million Euros," he added.

Despite the huge outlay however, Koksijde fully expects to reclaim most, if not all of its costs, with a number of streams of income.

"Sponsorship covers a large part of the costs,” said Deramoudt. “That money comes from both private sponsors and government.

“Another important part of the revenue comes from ticket sales,” he added. “We had hoped to welcome 30,000 spectators on Sunday, but we're already well ahead of that in advance sales."

More than 32,000 tickets were sold in advance, before online sales closed on Friday. This will have recovered somewhere in the region of three-quarters of a million euros, and with thousands more expected to turn up and pay on the day – at €20 for Saturday, €25 for Sunday, and €40 for a two-day ticket – this figure is set to rise.

Cyclocross in Belgium is not, of course, complete without refreshments, especially friets – and the myriad of sources that accompany them – and, even more importantly, the beer.

“Then there's the catering at the course,” said Deramoudt. “We will have five public tents, where we expect they will get through a lot kegs of beer.”

In all, the race organisation estimates that around 30,000 litres (~8,000 US gallons) of beer will be consumed, by the hordes of fans expected.

“I wish the weekend was here already,” Deramoudt concluded. “We are ready, or at least as ready as we’ll ever be.”


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