From a sports perspective there is little question that the 2019 IRONMAN®
World Championship in Nice, France is in a league of its own. Once again, history will be made as the world’s triathlon elite faces off at the world-famous Côte d’Azur.
But there is even more to the event. Split across two competitive race days, September 7 and 8, and a week full of festivities and side events, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship is also expected to shatter economic records.
“We are expecting a total of 20,000 athletes, family members, friends, fans, volunteers and staff members to travel to Nice to celebrate this unique occasion with us,” said Stefan Petschnig, Managing Director for IRONMAN Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Athlete feedback from the 2017 and 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship shows that participants stay an average of more than six nights in the host city. It also shows that athletes seek premium accommodations and a range of additional activities for themselves and their families prior to, and after race day. In total, organizers expect a total economic impact of 22,5 million Euro (25 million USD) for the host city and region. On average each person travelling to Nice will spend approximately 170 Euro (188 USD) per day during their stay.
“What’s important to note is that the impact of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship stretches way beyond race week itself,” Petschnig added. “Many European athletes have either raced in IRONMAN 70.3 Nice on the same course or explored the course on their own in the months leading to race day. Also, many return with their families for holidays later.”
With its mix of old-world opulence, year-round sunshine and stunning seaside location, Nice is the unofficial capital of the Côte d’Azur and the fifth-largest city in France. A magnet for beachgoers and culture-seekers since the 19th century, this coastal city has fabulous markets, an enticing old town, glorious architecture and a wealth of high-end restaurants. With one of the largest international airports in France located just minutes away from the city, Nice is easily accessible and welcomes over five million visitors every year as one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. Beyond the beauty of the area, Nice also offers a rich culture built by some of the greatest painters, writers and musicians the world has known. With outstanding cuisine and culture, Nice embodies all the benefits of a historic coastal city. If you really want to soak up the Riviera vibe, there’s no better place to be.
As both professional races at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will be live streamed on the Facebook Watch “IRONMAN Now” channel (www.facebook.com/IRONMANnow), millions of fans around the world will have the opportunity to follow the racing action and experience the sights and sounds of Southern France on their computers and mobile devices leading to further tourism interest.
“Nice will offer an exceptional setting and ideal conditions for the thousands of participants we expect to see at the starting line. Triathlon history in Nice stretches as far back as 1982 and the first IRONMAN® event here was held in 2005. Through this legacy our city has become a world capital of triathlon in its own right. We are looking forward to welcoming all of the athletes and their families to Nice,” said Christian Estrosi, Mayor of Nice, President of the Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur.
Over the years Nice and the Cote d’Azur have hosted many sports events of a global scale. Most significantly, since 1929 nearby Monte Carlo has hosted what’s arguably the world’s most famous Formula 1 race – the Monaco Grand Prix. From 1994-2002, Nice was host to the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships five times. From 2010 to 2016, Nice hosted the “Open de Nice Côte d’Azur” tennis tournament. In 2002 and 2012 the Figure Skating World Championship were held in the city. During the 2016 UEFA European Championship a total of four games were played at Stade de Nice. World-class football made a comeback in 2019 as the Stade de Nice hosted six games of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, ultimately won by the United States. Beyond the world of sports, entertainment superstars have visited Nice. Most recently, Beyoncé and Jay-Z played to a sell-out crowd at the stadium.
The start of the 1,9 km (1.2-mile) Roka Swim Course takes place on the Quai des Etats-Unis. Next, the 91,3-km (56.7-mile) one-loop Ventum Bike Course leads athletes to the mountains surrounding Nice including Col de Vence. Most notably there is a 9 km (5.6-mile) climb at a 6.6 percent average to reach 962m (3,156 feet) altitude above mean sea level. The 21,2 km (13.1-mile) Hoka One One Run Course will take athletes on two loops along the world-famous Promenade des Anglais where the finish line is located.
Since 2014 the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has been rotating globally through a competitive bid process. Future host cities featured will include Taupō, New Zealand in 2020 and St. George, Utah, USA hosting in 2021 with conversations for location in Europe already underway for 2022.
Future IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship Host Venues
- 2020 – Taupō, New Zealand (scheduled for November 28 & 29, 2020)
The Great Lake Taupõ District is rich in history and is one of the world’s most unique and picturesque areas. Located within a short drive of New Zealand’s main centers, the Great Lake Taupõ district is at the epicenter of the North Island. Situated in the center of the North Island of New Zealand, you will find fascinating volcanic landscape and a cultural heritage dating back to the arrival of Māori in New Zealand in the 14ᵗʰ century. The Great Lake Taupõ District is one of the most pure, beautiful and unspoiled areas in the country and encompasses the lakeside towns of Taupõ, Turangi, Kinloch and Mangakino. As a popular year-round destination, it houses the largest freshwater crater lake in Australasia, geothermal attractions, and the mountains and ski areas of Tongariro National Park, a dual World Heritage National Park. The swim portion will take place in the beautiful waters of Lake Taupõ, followed by a single-loop bike course, and a run course that will entail two loops on Lake Terrace and the Lions Walk adjacent to Lake Taupõ. Athletes will finish on Lake Terrace next to Colonel Roberts Reserve.
- 2021 – St. George, Utah, USA
The striking Southwestern community of St. George has been a host venue for IRONMAN races since 2010. St. George’s breathtaking scenery and views of the surrounding red rock canyons have made the community an ideal destination for athletes for years. The city’s walkable downtown area features great local fare and boutique shopping while providing an unmistakable backdrop. It is also only a two-hour drive from the nightlife of Las Vegas, with its never-ending entertainment options. The course has historically begun in the beautiful Sand Hollow Reservoir before embarking on a bike course through picturesque Snow Canyon State Park prior to a run through the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. With breathtaking Southwest America scenery, downtown St. George also delivers athlete support and a finish line like few others are able.
For more information about the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship event, please visit www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman-70.3/world-championship.aspx.
For more information on the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 brands and global event series, visit www.ironman.com.