U.S. Figure Skating announced last week the selection of host cities for the 2018 regional and sectional championships and synchronized sectional championships. Wichita, Kansas, was selected for the 2018 Midwestern and Pacific Coast Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships, which are slated for January 24-28, 2018, with all competitions being conducted at INTRUST Bank Arena and practices taking place at the Wichita Ice Center.
The qualifying teams from the Midwestern/Pacific Coast sectional championships will take on the qualifying teams from the Eastern competition being held in Fort Meyers, Florida.
“After years of conversation with Wichita, U.S. Figure Skating is thrilled to bring the synchronized skating sectional championships to the community for the first time,” said U.S. Figure Skating Events Manager Mia Corsini. “We look forward to hosting our athletes, coaches, officials and fans in one of the Midwest’s preeminent cities. INTRUST Bank Arena is a premier, award-winning venue, and we are confident our entire athletes will have a great competitive experience there.”
Providing local support to host the competition is the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission, Visit Wichita and the Wichita Figure Skating Club.
“Wichita is very excited to welcome U.S. Figure Skating to the community in 2018,” said Bob Hanson, President & CEO of the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. “In collaboration with Visit Wichita, INTRUST Bank Arena and the Wichita Figure Skating Club, the Sports Commission is thrilled to have these athletes compete in our city.”
The competition will attract more than 160 teams and 6,000 athletes, coaches and their families to Wichita and is estimated to generate more than $3.4 million in local economic impact. Those competing will range in age from 7 to 70.
“Wichita will provide a fantastic and energetic welcome to sports fans from across the country,” said Susie Santo, Visit Wichita President and CEO. “Visitors will not only enjoy mesmerizing synchronized skating competitions while they are here, but also the city’s numerous amenities and well-known hospitality. This is a huge win for Wichita, solidifying that we are a tremendous sports city capable of hosting sporting events of all magnitudes.”
President of the Wichita Figure Skating club Jolene Taylor says she is looking forward to bringing a U.S. Figure Skating qualifying event to Wichita. "It's an opportunity for our club to showcase synchronized skating to the Wichita community while displaying to U.S. Figure Skating the excellent hospitality and ice facilities our city has to offer.”
Synchronized skating features teams of up to 20 skaters performing themed routines, lasting less than five minutes and set to music that ranges from Disney classics and Broadway tunes, to jazz, hip-hop and classical.
The Midwestern and Pacific Coast Synchronized Skating Championships, hosted by U.S. Figure Skating, is the largest annual qualifying competition in its category. The top four teams from each division will earn a berth to the 2018 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships; location and date will be announced by U.S. Figure Skating at a later date.
About U.S. Figure Skating: U.S. Figure Skating is the national governing body for the sport of figure skating in the United States as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union. U.S. Figure Skating is comprised of more than 690 member clubs, collegiate clubs, school-affiliated clubs and more than 950 registered Basic Skills skating schools representing more than 178,000 members. U.S. Figure Skating is charged with the development of the sport on all levels within the United States including athletes, officials, sanctioning of events and exhibitions, and establishing the rules and guidelines by which the sport is governed.
About Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission: The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission is a facilitator, driving the collaborative efforts of the region in attracting and hosting a wide variety of sporting events. The Sports Commission provides the experience and expertise in sports marketing and event management that has established our region as a sports destination. Since 1997, the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission has facilitated over 500 events in the Wichita area with a combined economic impact of over $407 million.
About Visit Wichita: Visit Wichita markets the greater Wichita area as a major convention and tourism destination, thereby enhancing the economic development of the city, county, region and state. Visit Wichita is led by president and CEO Susie Santo, and in 2015 travel and tourism contributed more than $1 billion in economic impact to the greater Wichita area.
About Wichita Figure Skating Club: The Wichita Figure Skating Club (WFSC) was established in 1932 and became a full member of the United States Figure Skating Association in 1941. They encourage the instruction, practice and advancement of the members in any or all of the disciplines of figure skating, up to and including participation at national and international levels; to encourage and cultivate a spirit of harmony and fraternal feeling among ice skaters; and to carry out the general policies and objectives of United States Figure Skating.