City leaders insist nothing bad led to Red Bull having it’s Crashed Ice event skip over Edmonton next year. That was even though the prevailing thought had it making a return to the river valley after being here in 2015.
The schedule for the coming season was released Wednesday by Red Bull. It has stops in Marseille, France, and Jyväsklyä-Laajis, Finland for the European leg of the tour, before it comes closer to home in Saint Paul, Minnesota in February prior to its Canadian stop March 3 and 4 in Ottawa.
“Red Bull wanted to go to Ottawa for the 150th, and Edmonton being Edmonton, being gracious, had no issue with that,” said Coun. Scott McKeen. “So it wasn’t a case of non-support here, it wasn’t a case of Red Bull not wanting to come back. It was a case of Red Bull wanting to be in the nation’s capital for the 150th. That’s what I understand.”
The thing about this is, there’s no real bidding process says Nicole Poirier, the director of the civic events office. She said the city is still negotiating with Red Bull to look at a future event in Edmonton.
“We don’t know when that will be. We’re excited to have them back and we believe they’re excited to be back here, in that the event in 2015 was a huge success. So that’s what we’re working on these days.”
There are some rumblings that higher than expected costs caused a re-think by Red Bull, however Poirier isn’t aware of that. “From my understanding they were very happy with Edmonton, happy with the numbers that came out, we had over 70,000 people. The weather where you would think it would normally be cooler was very warm that day so thousands of people came out. That was a little bit more problematic from the implementation side in that they had to protect the ice during the day but it was a fabulous event.”
Estimates suggest it generated up to $10 million in economic activity. McKeen is hoping Economic Development Edmonton and the city’s administration are negotiating from a position of strength with the event’s owners.
“Personally, my concern is when we have events that come to town and leave town with a lot of money I think we always want to ensure that we’re getting a good deal for the taxpayers of Edmonton, and I think that there’s been cases in the past where that wasn’t happening.”
When that will happen? Stay tuned. There’s no sense on a return date. “Not at this point in time,” said Poirier. “We’re still working with Red Bull”