Reading, Pa., Selected to Host 2007 Skate America

(1/22/07) - U.S. Figure Skating announced today the selection of Reading, Pa., as the host city for 2007 Skate America. The international figure skating event is one of six stops on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. Competition will take place at the Sovereign Center Arena, Oct. 26-28, 2007. Reading last hosted the event in 2003.

“Reading did an excellent job of hosting Skate America in 2003, and we have no doubt the same hospitality and organization will be present this fall for the 2007 event,” U.S. Figure Skating President Ron Hershberger said. “We are excited to return knowing that Reading is an excellent host with a strong commitment to figure skating and to organizing first-class events.”

Skate America is an Olympic-style international figure skating event featuring three days of competition in ladies and men's singles, pairs and ice dancing. The event attracts more than 60 world-class figure skaters from approximately 12 countries. Past champions include five-time World and nine-time U.S. champion Michelle Kwan, 2002 Olympic bronze medalist Timothy Goebel, 2002 Olympic pairs champions Jamie Sale & David Pelletier of Canada, 1992 Olympic champion Kristi Yamaguchi and 1984 Olympic champion Scott Hamilton.

“We are delighted and proud that Reading, Pa., will host Skate America once again,” said Joan Gruber, chair of the Skate America 2007 local organizing committee. “The Greater Reading Convention & Visitors Bureau and The Junior League of Reading, Pa., will work together with the community to assure it is a major success, as it was in 2003. As the initial competition of the six events that comprise the Grand Prix Series, Skate America is always an exciting event. It is expected to have an economic impact of over $3 million on Reading and Berks County.”

Other stops on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series each year include Skate Canada, the Cup of China, Trophée Eric Bompard in France, the Cup of Russia and the NHK Trophy in Japan. The Grand Prix Final takes place each December and rotates among the countries that host the ISU Grand Prix events.

2006 Skate America was held at the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, Conn., where U.S. skaters won medals in all four disciplines and five of the 12 total medals. Kimmie Meissner won the ladies silver for her first Grand Prix medal while Evan Lysacek took men's silver and Melissa Gregory & Denis Petukhov won ice dancing silver. U.S. teams placed first and third in the pairs event, with Rena Inoue & John Baldwin taking gold and Naomi Nari Nam & Themi Leftheris taking bronze.

2003 Skate America welcomed more than 16,000 fans through the doors of the Sovereign Center Arena, which seats approximately 7,000. Tickets for the 2007 event go on sale this spring.