What do ice dancer Ben Agosto, Hilton Hotels and ShoWare Center have in common? They will all be integral players in bringing Skate America 2012 to Kent October 19 and 20, drawing thousands of sports fans and journalists from around the world to South King County.
Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke announced the news this morning at a press conference attended by local and state officials and representatives, media and residents and business people. Skate America will feature three days of competition featuring 52 world-class figure skaters from 15 countries. The DoubleTree by Hilton (SeaTac location) will be the host hotel, and ShoWare Center will host the competitions during the weekend-long event.
An enthusiastic Mayor Cooke said she wants to show the world “the very best Kent has to offer” in terms of dining, restaurants, lodging and other amenities.
“Let’s roll out the red carpet,” she said.
Though she had originally been scheduled to make the announcement, Governor Christine Gregoire was called away on last minute business. She made this statement in a press release issued following the press conference:
“We are excited to again welcome the international figure skating community and its fans to the state of Washington for 20120 Hilton HHonors Skate America,” Governor Gregoire said. “In recent years, Washington has hosted record-setting crowds in Spokane and Everett. The anticipated economic impact and international television exposure the event will bring to Kent and the greater Seattle area is exciting.”
King County Executive Dow Constantine was on hand to share in the good news. Constantine said he hopes to build on the success of the Olympic Diving Trials to be held in Federal Way next month, helping to position the area as a premier destination for sporting events.
“Thank you, Skate America, for choosing King County,” Constantine said.
Medalist Ben Agosto encouraged attendees to buy tickets for the event, explaining that some of the competitions held in Washington State are among the most memorable of his career.
“When you see it live, it is completely different than seeing it on TV,” Agosto said. “There’s a big energy transfer between the skaters and fans.”
Laura Lee of Production Sports will be handling the promotion of the event, with Ben Agosto serving as Skate America’s honorary chairman.
“This is our time to get noticed,” she told an audience of about 100.
Sports commentator Chris Egan of KING5 concluded the program: “It’s coming to YOUR city!”
Tickets for the international skating event will range in price from $75 for a weekend pass to $350 for premium seats. Tickets will go on sale tomorrow. For more information about the event, visit www.2012skateamerica.com.