Ticket sales for the first BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon in the Baltics, taking place from 10–13 March 2022 in Otepää, have started rapidly. Although the world’s best biathletes will not arrive in Otepää until next March, almost 2,500 tickets were sold in the first three weeks.
"The successful start of ticket sales was a very positive surprise for the organizers. Despite the difficult time in the world, public interest is significant," said Aivar Nigol, Chairman of the Otepää BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon Organizing Committee. For now, tickets have mostly been bought by Estonians, but the organizers are expecting at least as many guests from foreign countries as well – around 12,000 spectators in total. "Thanks to the broadcasts of Estonian Public Broadcasting, biathlon has become an integral part of winter for Estonians, and now everyone has the opportunity to see world-class competition with their own eyes," Nigol added.
Many top biathletes have previously won titles at Tehvandi Sports Centre at the Youth and Junior World Championships and at the European Championships. Sturla Holm Lægreid from Norway, the World Cup Men’s Total Score 2nd place, has had several successful races on the tracks of Tehvandi. „I had my first Junior World Championships in Otepää in 2018. The championships were very good for me. I took a silver medal in the individual and in the relay. So I have good memories of Otepää, it is a really nice place and I hope to be back there,” said Lægreid.
Another Norwegian biathlete Johannes Dale won bronze in the pursuit and silver in the relay in the same year. "For me, Otepää hosted the first big competitions, where I had to travel in order to race. I have many good memories from Otepää. I really like the stadium with the super hard track, so it will be a struggle to go there, but I'm looking forward to it," said Dale.
The organizers remember Dale and Lægreid from that time. "Both men won medals and already stood out," said Aivar Nigol, Chairman of the Organizing Committee. "Thanks to the well-organized Youth and Junior World Championships, the International Biathlon Union (IBU) trusted Otepää with the right to organize the BMW IBU World Cup stage," he added. In addition to 2022, the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon stage will also be held in Otepää in 2026.
As for the shooting range grandstand, there are still tickets available for Thursday and Friday. The large ski stadium seating area will probably be sold out before the start of the new biathlon season as well. "So it makes sense to buy tickets as soon as possible to secure the place you desire," said Nigol. It is also possible to watch the competition on the course, where screens will be installed for spectators. There are also screens at the stadium.
The BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon will be held at Tehvandi Sports Center in Otepää from 10th to 13th March, 2022.