Editor's Note: This project follows in the footsteps of the indoor ski tunnels that have been constructed in locations around Europe. With low-snow conditions becoming a common problem, this is another effort to maintain the viability of winter sports.
Ylitornio in Finnish Lapland is trying to develop plans to become the first venue to stage indoor Ski Jumping competitions. The municipality presented the results of an eight-month long feasibility study to the representatives of the Finnish Ski Association on Tuesday. The innovative plan calls for building three hills side-by-side, a Ski Flying hill (K 185) enabling jumps of up to 250 meters, a large hill (K 120) with jumps of approx. 140 m, and a normal hill (K 90).
The top part of the in-run track is planned in a tunnel to be dug into the Aavasaksa mountain. The rest of the facility would also be covered to ensure that weather conditions have no impact on the competition results and that safe and equal conditions can be ensured for all competitors. Given the indoor set-up, the hills could be in use almost ten months a year. For more details, you can view a short promotional movie here. The estimated budget for the project amounts to â‚¬30 million and financing is expected to be available by the end of 2007. The construction is estimated to begin in 2009 and last 2-2.5 years.
â€œThe Aavasaksa project is very interesting and innovative. I have followed the project’s planning phase carefully,â€ said Janne Marvaila, Director of Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined at the Finnish Ski Association. â€œHaving the will to push things forward is very positive. The Ski Jumping Committee of the Finnish Ski Association will review the detailed proposal this Friday and formulate its official stance.â€
In addition to the Aavasaksa project, a competing Ski Flying hill project is underway at Suomu, KemijÃ¤rvi, in the eastern part of Finnish Lapland. This plan foresees a normal Ski Flying hill with construction completed by 2011. There is currently no Ski Flying hill in Finland.