Ski jump event will be back in S.F. — this time at ballpark 

Icer Air, the event that had Olympic skiers and snowboarders flying high above the streets of Pacific Heights last year, is returning to San Francisco — minus the controversy.

More than 200 tons of artificial snow covered the Fillmore Street hill in the tony Pacific Heights neighborhood last September, giving spectators The City’s best views as world-class skiers and snowboarders performed breathtaking aerial maneuvers.

However, the event was plagued with problems before the first snowflake hit the hill. The competition was delayed and nearly canceled as neighbors complained about safety, street closures, crowds and damage to landscaping. A weepy bride even took to the airwaves, claiming that the event was destroying her wedding.

To avoid the drama, Icer Air 2006 will come in from the cold reception of the streets, to the home of the Giants on Nov. 4.

A 350-foot-long, 100-foot-high ski jump ramp descending from the AT&T Park scoreboard will be created, allowing jumpers to grab as much as 100 feet of air, more than 40 feet higher than last year, according to organizer and former Olympic medalist Jonny Moseley. Being able to connect the jump to the scoreboard was a big reason why organizers chose the stadium, he added.

"That was a novel event [last year and] it’s not going to look like that exactly again," Moseley said. "It’s going to be the first time they put a big ski jump in a stadium. It will be a different flavor but same excitement."

Organizers chose AT&T Park because it could accommodate more people and allowed them to expand the event, according to Moseley. There was some consideration to have the athletes jump from the streets of Potrero Hill, but ultimately the stadium wonout. Moseley said he hopes to maybe hold a future event in Potrero Hill.

Unlike last year, extreme fans hoping to get a glimpse of Moseley and his 20 snowboarding and skiing friends will have to buy a ticket, which ranges in price from $10 to $48. Organizers wanted to keep the event free but unfortunately it was not possible, they said.

Last year, after months of negotiations with the Mayor’s Office and city officials and a rescheduled date, event organizers were able to get the event off mostly without a hitch. More than 15,000 people converged to watch the Olympic skiers jump high above the million-dollar rooftops lining Fillmore Street with their views of the Bay.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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