The 2005 NZ Community Trust National Mountain Bike Champs in Rotorua, New Zealand between February 25-27 will for the first time charge spectators admission fees. With the staging costs at over NZ$100,000, the organisers using the $18.00 admission fee to improve spectator facilities and safety (competitors, invited VIP's, event staff and volunteers will gain free entry).
The one-off entry fee will cover three days of parking, access to the gondola and chairlift to transport spectators about the Skyline venue, from the bottom carpark to the top of the cross country course which passes right beneath the Skyline café. Spectators at the Four Cross event will be required to pay $2 per person and $2 per car to access parking and the venue at Mountain Action. They will also receive a map to navigate about the courses.
Organising Committee chairman Dave Donaldson said that "While the charge for admission to the NZ Mountain Bike Nationals is almost unprecedented, we are moving into a new era in the sport. The 2005 National Championships is the first test of the organisation and venue leading up to the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships. Proposed facilities provided for spectators at the Worlds Venue are on a par with those at most National Championship sporting competitions, and better than many."