For the second time in less than a year, Kansas City lost out in its bid to host the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
U.S. Figure Skating announced Wednesday that it has selected San Jose, Calif., as the host city for the 2012 U.S. nationals.
Kansas City and San Jose were the finalists for the competition that attracts an estimated 1,500 competitors and generates a $20 million to $25 million economic impact to the community. Earlier this year, Kansas City bid to bring the 2011 event to the Sprint Center but Greensboro, N.C., was chosen.
This marks the 11th time the state of California has hosted the event and the second time for San Jose, which held the event in 1996.
“We’re disappointed,” said Shani Tate, director of communications and marketing for the Sprint Center. “We will continue to work very diligently to get those signature sports and entertainment events as well as build the infrastructure and processes that are necessary for those future opportunities.”
Two factors that might have worked against Kansas City’s bid were insufficient hotel rooms for such a national event as well as some uncertainty about the future of Kemper Arena, which would be necessary as a practice facility for the championships as well as a venue for some lower-profile competitions.
Anschutz Entertainment Group, which manages the Sprint Center, also is contracted to manage Kemper Arena through 2012, but during U.S. Figure Skating’s site visit in August, officials had some questions about the future management of the facility.
“Kansas City hasn’t been in this position to go after signature events in a good while,” Tate said. “We have to get in that mode. We have the NCAA jewel events and Big 12 championships. However, there are a significant number of additional prestigious events we would like to work to attract.”
Peggy Fleming, five-time U.S. champion, three-time World champion and 1968 Olympic champion, served as honorary chair of the San Jose bid and will continue in that role with the city's local organizing committee.
Other figure skaters with San Jose ties include Brian Boitano, Kristi Yamaguchi, Rudy Galindo, Debi Thomas and Charles Tickner.