crashed-ice

The Crashed Ice course in 2007 saw skaters race on a winding, jump- and drop-filled track through Old Quebec. ((Photo courtesy Red Bull Crashed Ice))

The future of the Red Bull Crashed Ice event in Quebec City is up in the air as complaints from local residents have sponsors questioning the annual event's value, Mayor Régis Labeaume says.

Quebec City resident Roger Bertrand says the annual race, involving heavily padded contestants barrelling down a steep 550-metre ice track at breakneck speeds, blocks off access to many streets and causes too much noise.

He says the five weeks it takes to build and take down the track is too long and he is considering a class-action lawsuit against the city unless changes are made.

Labeaume says Red Bull executives are wary of controversy, and considering withdrawing the event from the city.

He met with Canadian representatives of the company to discuss the issue.

The mayor had no comment following the meeting, but Red Bull representatives would only say the future of Crashed Ice in Quebec City is "up in the air."

Bertrand says he might accept hosting Crashed Ice once every two or three years in the old city as a compromise.

For his part, Labeaume, says if residents want to live in a vibrant, attractive city, they have to be willing to compromise from time to time.

Organizers say the event brings in more than $11 million in business to the city.