Venue concerns hit Oberhof’s Biathlon World Championships bid

Officials in the German city of Oberhof have stated their concern that delays over plans for the redevelopment of an arena will harm its bid to host the 2020 or 2021 Biathlon World Championships.

The resort, which is currently hosting its round of the International Biathlon Union’s (IBU) World Cup season, announced its intention to bid for the Championships last year. However, Sabine Reuss, president of the Thüringer Ski Association, told German news agency the DPA that the bid’s status is in danger. “I'm seriously worried about how to proceed,” Reuss added.

The concerns surround the allocation of €27m ($33.5m) to redevelop an obsolete arena in the city, with local authorities delaying a decision on the plans. The DPA said the IBU is set to make a decision over the 2020 and 2021 World Championships in the summer of 2016.

Following this year’s event in the Finnish municipality of Kontiolahti, World Championships hosting rights have been assigned to the Norwegian capital Oslo (2016), the Austrian town of Hochfilzen (2017) and the Swedish city of Östersund (2019). The event is not staged in winter Olympic years.