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and now Houffalize...

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Houffalize World Cup in Financial Difficulty

The Belgian news site L'Avenir is reporting that the organizing committee of the Houffalize Mountain Bike World Cup is likely to announce on Monday that they will give up their sanction for the event in 2010. Houffalize is one of the classics of the cross-country circuit, run by the small town of Houffalize in the southeast corner of Belgium. The event takes place in and around the town itself and, for 2010, is scheduled for May 1-2, with the second round of the cross-country series and first round of the 4-Cross.

However, this year (2009) the event racked up a deficit of nearly 80,000 Euros (more than $120,000), due to sponsorship shortfalls. The mayor of Houffalize stated to L'Avenir "elected officials can not impose on the [population] to intervene again".

The mayor expects that the town will give up the sanction unless financial assistance is promised.

While Houffalize currently has the sanction to produce the World Cup, the UCI actually awards it to the national federation, which then contracts with the local event organizer. Therefore, the Belgian cycling federation theoretically has the option of finding a different organizer and location to award the sanction to (subject to UCI approval). The only other Belgian organizer to have held a World Cup (cross-country) in recent years is Spa Francorchamps, which is less than 50 kilometres from Houffalize.
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and a Facebook support group has already been spawned
Very sad. I hope they can work something out. Thanks for posting the explanation. I had joined the FB group earlier, but at that time I didn't know why it was at risk.
This, sadly , may be one of many.
The world economy is slowly catching up.
Sponsors aren't renewing..or worse, not paying.
Some of the Euro infrastructure, such as the town/state/whatever chipping in is going away as belts get tighter.

Houffalize World Cup Reprieve

After an announcement on December 26th that the town of Houffalize was unwilling to bear the financial reponsibility for the 2010 World Cup after a deficit of nearly 80,000 Euros, the mayor released a statement today that an agreement had been reached to save the event.

Houffalize is one of the great Classics of the cross-country circuit, and last year added a 4-Cross event. The small town in the south east corner of Belgium attracts tens of thousands of spectators, and the event becomes a bike festival. However, the recession last year made the town liable for the revenue shortfall after sponsors could not be found, and the mayor and council announced that they could not make the same guarantees for the 2010 event scheduled for May 1-2.

After discussions with the event organizer, the mayor has announced that an agreement has been reached that will allowed the event to take place. While details were not provided, we understand that the organizers have agreed to assume financial responsibilities previously assumed by the town.

"This decision will delight all lovers of MTB," said mayor Marc Caprasse. "Competitors and the public are particularly attached to this global event, and will be able to keep their rendezvous with Houffalize."

The mayor said that after the announcement of the possible cancellation, they received an enormous number of e-mails, text messages and telephone calls asking them to save the event. A Facebook page was set up to support the event, attracting over 3500 members in less than two weeks.
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