Burton Snowboards and the Air and Style Company decided recently to cancel the European Open to be held February 7 to 13, 2000. The two event organizers felt that in the light of the recent tragedy that took place at the 7th G-Shock Air & Style Snowboard Contest December 4, it would be inappropriate to hold another snowboard contest in the city so close after the calamity.
Although the Air and Style snowboard contest and concert ran without a hitch, five female spectators were killed and over 20 people were injured, some critically, while trying to exit the Bergisel Stadium in downtown Innsbruck, Austria following event.
The tragedy was an overwhelmingly sad incident for both the local and the international snowboarding community, as the Air & Style is one of the most popular and well-prepared contests in the world.
“The Air and Style Company just felt it was too close in the same country to put on the event after the tragedy that followed that contest,” says Barry Dugan, Burton’s marketing manager in charge of team and promotions. “We’re supporting the decision, but know this is a disappointment for riders who wanted to attend and compete in the event.”
This would have been the second annual European Open, which is a part of the Open series organized by Burton Snowboards and held each year. The series includes the Nippon Open in Japan and the annual U.S. Open held every March at Stratton Mountain, Vermont.
Now in its seventh year, the G-Shock Air & Style snowboard contest and quarterpipe challenge is best known for the huge prize money it awards riders, the amazing amount of media coverage and the high level of competition. Top riders from around the world have been headlining this event since its inception in 1994.