The unforgettable folk festival of 2015
No one has forgotten the folk festival during the 2015 World Ski Championships. 228 000 tickets were sold, and a total of 281 600 visitors made their way to Lugnet. Two Swedish World Championship gold medals were won, by Charlotte Kalla and Johan Olsson.
It was on June 3, 2010 in Antalaya, Turkey, that Falun was awarded the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships of 2015 by the FIS council. The campaign had been led by Sven von Holst, who also became World Championship General.
After a thrilling voting procedure, Falun came out as the winner, with votes 8-7 against the Finnish ski resort Lahti.
Five years later, the time had come for Falun to host the World Ski Championships for the fourth time. This time, the championships were settled between the 18th of February and the 1st of March, and 700 participants from 55 countries had signed up.
The number of volunteers amounted to 1600, and 1250 media representatives were on site to report from the competitions.
The goal was to sell 200 000 tickets, but by the time the World Championships were over, 228 000 tickets had been sold. In total, 281 600 visitors had been following the competitions on site at Lugnet.
The setting at Lugnet was fantastic, and the goal of creating a championship that exceeded all expectations was well achieved.
A big part of this was of course thanks to the Swedish skiers who reaped great success in Lugnet’s tracks. Charlotte Kalla (10 km F) and Johan Olsson (15 km F) became world champions. In total, Sweden won two gold, four silver and three bronze medals.
Nine Swedish medals were a new record for a World Ski Championships, and Charlotte Kalla performed the best out of the Swedish skiers, and took home one gold, one silver and two bronze – a total of four medals.
TV: Johan Olsson after the victory in 15 km(F):
Sweden’s medals in the World Ski Championships in Falun 2015:
- Stina Nilsson, silver – Sprint
- Charlotte Kalla, bronze – Skiathlon
- Sweden, silver - Ladies’ team sprint
- Charlotte Kalla, gold – 10 km
- Johan Olsson, gold – 15 km
- Sweden, silver – 4x5 km ladies´ relay
- Sweden, silver – 4x10 km men´s relay
- Charlotte Kalla, bronze – 30 km
- Johan Olsson, bronze – 50 km
TV: Charlotte Kalla after her victory in 10 km (F):
The interest from our western neighbour was also great, and the Norwegian flag was a common sight in the audience. The Ski King Petter Northug left the World Championships with four gold medals, and Norway collected a total of 20 medals.
However, the competitions at Lugnet were not the only thing drawing a large audience.
The medal award ceremonies, held in the evenings at the Medal Plaza at the main square, attracted a crowd as well. The atmosphere was electric and the square was filled to the brim, especially when it was time for the Swedish medallists to take the stage and receive their medals.
The number of visitors at the medal award ceremonies and other side activities were estimated at about 70 000.
It was decided that the World Championships would be held in an innovative way to attract a younger audience. Falun had promised to use new technology to update information on races and event progress in a way never seen before.
The digital experience was a way for spectators to get access to a lot of data and information about the World Championships, and simplified as well as increased the spectator experience regardless of if you were on site in Falun or if you were following the events from somewhere else in the world.
The two apps ”Live Results Falun2015” and “Live Arena Falun2015” were introduced. During the World Championship period, the apps had 770 000 visitors, with a daily total of 27 000 active users from 167 different countries. In total, the apps were downloaded 200 000 times.
Beyond Skiing and the partner structure
Falun´s idea was also to create something more than “just” a World Championships on skis. The event would benefit the whole region of Dalarna and be of significance for the world of skiing at large – before, during and after Falun 2015.
Sustainability in the future was an important part of the concept, and another important aspect was the business network, which helped creating a large and broad involvement in the championships.
The business network also contributed important financial resources that made it possible to arrange the World Ski Championships. Eight different sponsorship packages were sold, with the aim of building a strong national partner structure that also included large companies operating on the international market.
A bit about the sustainability
Falun 2015 had the vision of being the most sustainable and environmentally friendly World Ski Championships ever.
The championships were ISO certified as a sustainable event in accordance with the ISO standards.
Falun had three main areas of focus in regards to sustainability: transports, waste management and smart energy solutions.
The World Ski Championships 2015 and the finances
When the final financial result for the World Ski Championships was reported, it showed a profit before appropriations and taxes of SEK 47 million. The city of Falun received SEK 30,5 million, and the co-organiser, the Swedish Ski Association, received SEK 16,5 million.
Leading up to the World Ski Championships 2015, the city of Falun had to make some major investments in the Lugnet venue, since the maintenance was severely neglected in places and needed extensive reconstruction work done.
The total investment cost reached SEK 249,8 million. Region Dalarna and Tillväxtrådet contributed SEK 22,3 million, and the remaining part of the bill was accounted for by the city of Falun, through the corporation Lugnet i Falun AB.
By far the most, or SEK 174,9 million, was spent on the ski jumping venue.
The development of the stadium area and the development of the cross-country courses cost SEK 16,7 million, and SEK 21 million was invested in the infrastructure.
Part of the investments would have been necessary even if Falun had not organized the 2015 World Ski Championships. The maintenance was, as previously mentioned, neglected in several places.
Worth noting is also that the Travel Centre was mostly finished at the start of the championships 2015, three years ahead of the original plan.