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Financial losses of Bergen World Championships still unknown

Joe Robinson
12 Dec 2017

UCI and Norwegian Cycling Federation working together to minimise losses for Bergen

The UCI and Norwegian Cycling Federation are working alongside the city of Bergen in order to minimise any financial losses from the 2017 World Championships, citing the weakening of the Norwegian Krone against the Euro as a factor.

A statement released by the UCI reveals that Bergen and the Norwegian Cycling Federation are 'intensively working to minimise any eventual losses the event may incur', adding that the UCI would work alongside the NCF and Bergen in 'to minimise any negative impact on all creditors'.

Reports after the Championships suggested that the even ran heavily over budget, with local press reporting an overspend in the region of 70 million Norwegian Kroner.

Although the organisers of Bergen 2017 initially dismissed reports of any financial losses, this recent UCI statement confirms the difficulties faced and some of the reasons for this overspend.

'The difficulties are due inter alia to a weakening of the Norwegian Krone against the Euro since 2014, additional costs associated with the challenging global security environment and significantly increased public requirements,' the statement reads.

The exact deficit for Bergen 2017 remains unknown, with the UCI confirming that full financial results for the event are yet to be finalised.

Efforts have been made by the local community through crowdfunding to help ease the financial pressure assumed after hosting the Worlds.

It is also hoped by organisers that the long-term benefit of increased cycling tourism in Bergen due to the Championships will assist in bringing money to the area.

Marketing and communications director Erik Halvorsen emphasised this by telling Cyclist, 'We have the best of the fjords, coast and cities. It was a great promotion of Norway and we have already had lots of tour operators and tourists coming to us.'

However, the potential financial losses experienced by Bergen will be cause for concern the the UCI, especially considering the event was otherwise considered a success.

Bergen 2017 was the most-watched World Championships in history both in terms of crowd sizes and television viewing figures, with an independent study showing a 97% satisfaction rate with the event.

For Bergen to be considered the most successful World Championships ever yet still be left with a sizeable deficit should be alarming for the UCI and suggests much work to be done ahead of Innsbruck and Yorkshire in the coming years.