Detroit to host 2019 U.S. Figure Skating Championships

Gregg Krupa
The Detroit News

Detroit — A longtime capital of the sport, the city will host the 2019 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, in Little Caesars Arena and the Detroit Skating Club.

The dates of the event are Jan. 19-27, 2019.

“U.S. Figure Skating is excited for the return of the U.S. Championships to Detroit for the first time since 1994,” U.S. Figure Skating President Sam Auxier said in announcing the event Thursday.

“Detroit and all of Michigan is a skating hotbed that is home to many of our top athletes, both past and present.

“Detroit, highlighted by the newly opened Little Caesars Arena and downtown redevelopment, will be a great host to our athletes, coaches officials and fans from around the country. It will be a wonderful event in one of the great, new venues in our country.”

The current two-time defending U.S. champions in ice dancing, Maia and Alex Shibutani, live in Ann Arbor, attend the University of Michigan and train in Canton.

The 103-year-old U.S. Championships, are the nation’s most prestigious figure skating event, with past winners including Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the 2014 Olympic gold medalists from Ann Arbor.

Detroit last hosted the U.S. Championships in 1994 at Joe Louis Arena. After a practice for that event at Cobo Arena, Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the knee by an assailant in an attack planned by the ex-husband of rival skater Tonya Harding. Kerrigan's injury forced her to withdraw from the championships.

Detroit also has been the site of Skate America four times, most recently in 2013.

“Suburban Detroit is the epicenter for world-class figure skating, so we feel the nation’s most prestigious figure skating event is coming home,” said Kris Smith, director of the Detroit Sports Commission.

“We believe we have the best venue in the country in Little Caesars Arena and partners such as the Mayor’s Office, 313 Presents, the Detroit Skating Club and Detroit Metro Skating Council.”

All junior free skate, dance and championship-level events will be held at Little Caesars Arena.

All junior short programs, dance, novice, intermediate and juvenile events will take place at the Detroit Skating Club.

U.S. champions will be crowned in ladies, men’s, pairs and ice dance at the senior, junior, novice, intermediate and juvenile levels of the U.S. Figure Skating competitive structure.

The U.S. Championships serve as the final qualifying event to make the U.S. World Figure Skating Team every year and the U.S. Olympic Team every four years.

It annually attracts more than 1,700 athletes, coaches, officials and media.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the 2019 U.S. Figure Skating Championships back to the city of Detroit,” said Tom Wilson, president of Olympia Entertainment.

“The event has a rich history with a passionate fan following, and we’re confident that the athletes, coaches and fans will enjoy a first-class experience in our great city.”

Recent U.S. Championships were held in Boston (2014), Greensboro, N.C. (2015), Saint Paul, Minn. (2016), and Kansas City, Mo. (2017).

The 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships are Dec. 29, 2017 – Jan. 7, 2018 in San Jose, Calif.

Tickets to the 2019 U.S. Figure Skating Championships will go on sale in early 2018.