Detroit bids to host 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships

The Detroit News
Charlie White and Meryl Davis

The Detroit Sports Commission, in partnership with Olympia Entertainment and the Detroit Skating Club, submitted a bid Thursday to host the 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

The bid was hand-delivered by Michigan natives and Olympic ice dance gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White to U.S. Figure Skating officials at the World Championships at TD Garden in Boston.

The 2018 U.S. Championships, scheduled for Jan. 3-7, serve as the final qualifying event before the selection of the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team. The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

All junior and championship level events would be held at the new Red Wings arena, while the juvenile, intermediate and novice events would be at the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills.

“The entire Metro Detroit region would benefit from the vast media coverage and significant direct spending the U.S. Championships and its thousands of visitors would provide,” said Dave Beachnau, DSC executive director. “We look forward to working closely with our community partners through the bid process and securing Detroit’s place in this historic championship.”

According to U.S. Figure Skating, the U.S. Championships annually attract more than 1,500 athletes, coaches and officials to the host community, and generate $20 million-$25 million in economic impact.

“Detroit is a mecca for ice sports and has been for so many years,” Davis said. “I think a city that has given so much to the world of figure skating deserves to host such an important event in the sport. The competition would not only showcase the local skating clubs and their hard work and dedication to the sport, but would allow people across the country to see just how great this city is.”

If awarded, the U.S. Championships would return to Detroit for the first time since 1994. At that event, Nancy Kerrigan was assaulted in a plot involving rival Tonya Harding and Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly. Harding pleaded guilty to hindering the investigation into the attack.

It was not immediately known how many other cities have presented bids. U.S. Figure Skating officials are expected to announce their decision this summer.