GREENSBORO, N.C. — Representatives from the U.S. Figure Skating toured the Greensboro Coliseum on Wednesday to help them decide whether to bring the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships back to Greensboro.
The 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships are also the Olympic Trials where the U.S. Olympic team members will be selected making the process more rigorous to choose just the right location.
Boston and St. Paul Minnesota are also in the running for the event which brings national television exposure and millions of dollars in economic impact.
“I think the economic impact has been measured in the millions of dollars because people come from all over the country and all over the world to see this championship.” said Paul Wylie, an Olympic Silver Medalist who lives in Charlotte. He’s part of the team trying to convince U.S. Figure Skating to return to Greensboro in 2014.
Bob Dunlop is the Senior Director of Events for U.S. Figure Skating. He and Larry Kriwanek are traveling to all three venues and weighing the pros and cons of each city’s pitch.
“We’re responsible for coming in and doing the due diligence on behalf of the bidding cities and coming in and getting to know the people behind the bid…the venues the strengths and weaknesses if you will.”, Dunlop said.
Kriwanek says he likes the campus feel of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. “This is a campus feel here where all the facilities are very close together. That’s important to us. We want to have a good fan experience.”
And they’re taking the experience from 2011 into consideration too. They say things like community involvement is a big plus and with the 2014 event being the sendoff for Olympic bound athletes the selection process is that much more critical.
“It’s really being able to illustrate and communicate why to come to city A vs city B at the end of the day.” says Bob Dunlop.
Paul Wylie likens the selection process to that of a performer on the ice. “Our job is to just keep putting ourselves out there and to keep being a positive new face in the game of hosting this championship. The trick is to put our best foot forward and to let them know they’re welcome back anytime.”
The U.S.Figure Skating representatives will visit St. Paul on Thursday and should make a decision next week on where the 2014 Championships will be held.