Cross-country World Cup coming to Minneapolis in February, organizers hopeful for more snow

Cross-country World Cup coming to Minneapolis in February, organizers hopeful for more snow

Minneapolis is preparing to be the first U.S. city to host a World Cup cross-country ski race in 20 years.

The COOP FIS Cross-Country World Cup is happening at Theodore Wirth Park in February, but organizers with the Loppet Foundation say the lack of snow so far this season is a real concern.

Claire Wilson with the Loppet Foundation says they typically make about 7 kilometers of snow for the track. Right now, they have a kilometer and a half.

“What is happening, this has been a little bit of a stress ball winter,” Wilson said. “People always said ‘Oh a World Cup in February, you’ll be fine’…uhh.”

Wilson says the rain over Christmas was not helpful.

“To have that rain, that wiped out a significant portion of the course that we had already made. It was a true setback,” Wilson said.

The team at the Loppet Foundation can’t fire up their snow guns because it’s just too warm.

“As long as the temperature gets below 28 we can turn on the snow guns and we can make snow,” Wilson said.

Haakon Erdahl, from Minnetrista, skis for his college team, and he’s had the World Cup circled on his calendar.

“I think it’s super exciting, I was sure to get my tickets nice and early back in the summer,” Erdahl said.

There’s plenty of work ahead to get this course ready, and even some neighbors are offering a helping hand.

“We have had others reach out to us who have snow guns in the area who say ‘We’ll bring ours once we’re done,'” Wilson said.

With a month and a half to go, while it may be a bit of a different course, there is plenty of optimism.

“I’m hopeful that we’ll get some sort of dumping of snow in the next month or two but we’ll see,” Erdahl said.

The last time they were ready to host a World Cup race at Theodore Wirth was in 2020, but that race was canceled because of COVID-19.

The race kicks off on Feb. 17 — for more information click here.