Local News

Greensboro to host U.S. Figure Skating championships

Posted February 25, 2009 11:11 a.m. EST
Updated February 25, 2009 2:11 p.m. EST

Holly Bezdany practices her figure skating at the Ice Plex in Raleigh.

— U.S. Figure Skating on Wednesday selected Greensboro to host its national championships in 2011, an event that could bring $30 million to the area.

“North Carolina will be a fantastic location for the 2011 Championships,” Gov. Beverly Perdue said in a statement. “We have a proven track record of successful major events, great facilities and wonderful volunteers. Not only will the Nationals showcase Greensboro and bring valuable dollars to the surrounding area, but the choice of North Carolina as the host state will make for the best possible event.”

Perdue last month lobbied U.S. Figure Skating officials for the event. Kansas City, Mo., was the other finalist.

The event is set for Jan. 22-30, 2011, and tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. March 9.

About 34,000 people could fill the Greensboro Coliseum to see the championships, which also will be broadcast on national television.

Paul Wylie, the 1992 Olympic silver medalist and five-time U.S. medalist who now lives and coaches in Charlotte, said North Carolina’s selection as a defining moment for the state.

“The state of North Carolina has never hosted the U.S. Figure Skating Championships,” Wylie said in a statement. “We have been growing in terms of new ice facilities and having more participants in the sport. With figure skating’s premier event coming to the state in less than two years, I expect the growth in figure skating in North Carolina to be tremendous.”

The event crowns 12 national champions in four disciplines – men's singles, women's singles, pairs and ice dancing – across three competitive levels – novice, juniors and seniors. About 1,500 top skaters from across the U.S. participate.