Reporting Rachel Slavik
ST. PAUL (WCCO) — This weekend the world of ice cross racing will have all eyes on St. Paul. The city is playing host to the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championships, which start Thursday.
From her St. Paul apartment on Summit, Heather Jacobson couldn’t ask for better access to the Red Bull Crashed Ice race course.
“We can see pretty much everything,” she said, from her St. Paul apartment.
But, her coveted view comes at a cost.
“It’s put a tarnish on the event for me, because I’m always worried about what’s the night going to be like,” said Jacobson.
For the last two weeks, construction of the 1,100-foot-long course has disrupted her life and those living around her.
“Just a huge inconvenience for everyone living in the area,” said James Schweickhardt, who lives near the course.
For the last two weeks, neighbors say they’ve had bright lights shining into the apartments at night.
“They are keeping us up. We also have generators going, the humming of the generators,” Jacobson said.
Blocked-off roads and parking issues on already crowded streets are also causing concern.
“They are taking up all the parking spaces. I can’t really walk my normal route to work, because they’re closing sidewalks, changing sides every day,” Schweickhardt said.
Community members said they expect to have the disruption for at least a month. It takes that long to set up and tear down the track. Neighbors said they’d like to see something in return, like the busing they’ve noticed for the St. Paul Cathedral and nearby businesses.
“Even if they said, ‘hey, we’re going to compensate you by paying for your parking pass next year, or here’s a case of Red Bull, we know it’s going to disrupt your lives,’ there really hasn’t been that,” Schweickhardt said.
Joe Campbell from the city of St. Paul said the city has worked hard over several weeks to accommodate everyone in the area. The city held four public meetings and sent out updates.
“I think there’s some stuff that could have been done better,” said Jacobson.
Crashed Ice will bring in thousands of spectators to St. Paul, and while Jacobson plans to be among them, she’s also ready for it to end.
“I have very mixed feelings about the event,” she said.
Red Bull also said its been actively working with the community to cause the least amount of disruption.
Workers aren’t allowed to park on city streets and other lots have been made available to those who live in the area.
The Crashed Ice event begins Thursday at 1:30 p.m. and ends Saturday at 9 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public. There is a $15 entrance fee for the 93X crash zone, a premiere viewing area.