SJ to host 2012 skating championships

November 4, 2009 7:30:14 PM PST
San Jose is bursting with pride and excitement because the city is hosting the 2012 National Figure Skating Championships.

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The announcement, made Wednesday morning, means a big economic boost to the city. Hosting the 2012 U.S. Championships is estimated to generate tens of millions of dollars of revenue. Now, the planning can officially begin.

The event is considered the ultimate annual highlight for U.S. competitive skaters and it is the second time San Jose has won the bid to host it.

The first time the U.S. Figure Skating Championships were held at the HP Pavilion was in 1996 when San Jose ice skater Rudy Galindo became a hometown hero, winning the U.S. Championship title.

A long list of legendary skaters with San Jose ties includes Rudy Galindo, Kristi Yamaguchi and Peggy Fleming, a U.S., world and Olympic champion, actively supported the bid for the championships to come to San Jose.

The event will draw more than 1,000 figure skating competitors over a nine-day period in January 2012. And, together with the sports enthusiasts they will draw, it will be a great economic boost.

"The U.S. championships held here in '96 were one of the most exciting sporting events ever," said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. "But, I'm even more excited about the fact that we're going to have 8,000 room-nights in our hotels, thousands of people visiting our city, spending money, helping our local economy. That's exciting."

"Recent championships have been anywhere between $20 and 25 million in terms of local economic impact, on a conservative basis," said Patricia Ernstrom with the San Jose Sports Authority. "And, certainly, as we look forward to a couple of years down the road, we think that the economic impact is strong."

The U.S. Figure Skating Association says it chose San Jose for many reasons including, the HP Pavilion being a top-notch venue, the vibrancy of its downtown, and the availability of many services and sizeable hotels, as well as a very supportive community of fans and local champion skaters.

People can already clinch a spot to get some of the best seats. The deposits for tickets are already being taken at the HP Pavilion.

Visit www.skatesanjose2012.com or call 408.977.4723 to place a $50 deposit per seat. All-Session Ticket Packages begin at $225.

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