This January, more than 100 synchronized skating teams will travel to Portland for the 2016 Midwestern and Pacific Coast Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. This is U.S. Figure Skating’s largest annual event and one of the largest synchronized skating events in the world. The event is slated to run January 27-31, 2016, with tickets going on sale October 17 at rosequarter.com.
The event is being organized locally by the Oregon Skating Council, Oregon Sports Authority, Rose Quarter and Travel Portland. With more than 4,000 skaters, coaches and family members attending, it will generate a profound economic impact for the region, expected to exceed $3 million. Currently 18 Portland-area hotels are under contract to host the visiting teams.
“We’ve already had more than 6,000 room nights booked by the synchronized skating teams and are expecting a multi-million dollar impact for our community in what is typically a slower month for tourism,” Drew Mahalic, CEO of the Oregon Sports Authority, said. “Portland hotels, restaurants and retail businesses will be absolutely packed with synchronized skaters and their families visiting from across the country.”
Synchronized figure skating consists of teams of 8-20 skaters on the ice performing routines in unison. Skaters range in age from 5 to 75, with the majority of competitors between the ages of 8 and 22. Last year the International Skating Union formally proposed that synchronized skating be added as an Olympic sport. While Portland previously hasn’t had a synchronized skating team in recent years, several young figure skaters from the area will begin practicing next month in an effort to form a juvenile team that will compete in their hometown during the sectional championships.
“We are thrilled to be hosting this unique and exciting skating competition,” Celia Chan, co-chair of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), said. “We invite Portland-area residents to come see a stunning display of athleticism and passion for the sport of figure skating.”
The Portland LOC recently produced a brief video to illustrate the unique nature and upbeat atmosphere of this special event.
Volunteers & Sponsors Needed
Group and individual volunteers are needed to help stage the championships, including many volunteer positions that do not require figure skating knowledge. Those interested can visit 2016midpacsynchrosectionals.org for additional information.
There are also opportunities for local businesses to become involved through sponsorship and vendor booth opportunities. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.