Wichita will host the 2018 U.S. Figure Skating synchronized skating sectional championships at Intrust Bank Arena, officials announced Thursday.
The championships, which will draw an estimated 2,000 skaters from the Midwestern and Pacific Coast regions, will be from Jan. 24 to 28. About 6,000 people are expected to come to Wichita for the event, generating more than $3.4 million in local economic impact, officials said.
The announcement “brings a tear to my eye,” said Bob Hanson, president of the Great Wichita Area Sports Commission.
When the commission was campaigning hard for the downtown arena to be built, Hanson said, the two questions asked most often were “Can we get an NCAA event?” and “Can we get ice skating?”
“We’re very happy to get both of those to Wichita very soon,” he said.
The skating championships will be two months before the arena hosts NCAA national basketball championship tournament games.
The skating sectionals will feature 160 to 170 teams competing in 14 divisions, Hanson said. Skaters will range in age from 7 to 70.