Red Bull Crashed Ice makes St. Paul its only U.S. stop

The treacherous ice-covered track filled with turns, jumps and drops will be set up outside of the St. Paul Cathedral.
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Red Bull Crashed Ice is returning to St. Paul.

For the sixth straight season, skaters will race down a treacherous ice-covered track filled with turns, jumps and drops outside of the St. Paul Cathedral, Red Bull announced Wednesday.

St. Paul will host the third race in the four-race season on Feb. 3-4. The season kicks off Jan. 13-14 in Marseille, France, before heading to Jyväskylä-Laajis, Finland Jan. 20-21, and then finishing in Ottawa, Canada, March 3-4.

The wait is over: #redbullcrashedice 2016/17 is coming soon! Watch out for exciting news next week!

Posted by Red Bull Crashed Ice on Saturday, October 8, 2016

Throughout the Crashed Ice season, athletes – including many from Minnesota – compete for points, with the highest point-earner from the events being crowned Ice Cross Downhill World Champion.

And last season, Minnesota's own Cameron Naasz became the first American ever to win the championship after edging out Canada's Scott Croxall in St. Paul.

100,000+ fans watch

The sport has been a boon to St. Paul's economy in the frigid winter months, drawing upwards of 100,000 fans to the capital city.

"This sport just keeps growing in popularity every year and this year is definitely going to take it to the next level," Christian Papillon, the championship's sporting director, said in a news release. She cited the return to Finland and Minnesota, as well as stops in two new new locations in France – a "mind-boggling location" because it's not a winter city – and Ottawa.

"They're going to be insane," Papillon said.

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Red Bull's Crashed Ice underway in St. Paul

A couple hundred athletes from around the world are competing in the three-day event, including 75 Minnesotans. According to MPR, the 400-meter track starts by the Cathedral of Saint Paul and ends near the Kellogg Boulevard onramp to I-35E. It includes jumps, sharp turns and steep slopes. Skaters can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.