Officials do handsprings over USA Gymnastics’ 2013 return
Following success in 2010, local officials announced Tuesday that the USA Gymnastics Championship will tumble back into Hartford in the summer of 2013.
The event will be held Aug. 14 through Aug. 17, with competitive events taking place in the XL Center and the Convention Center, accompanied by a national trade show.
In 2010, the championships had around 40,000 attendees and as many as 9,000 hotel rooms were booked in the area to accommodate those from around the country, officials said.
The championship in 2010 came at a crucial time for Hartford, Mayor Pedro Segarra said, and helped vault the city’s economy to new heights.
“This is such an important event for us. It highlights our city, it gives our city definition within the national context of sports,” Segarra said. “This year, 2013, is going to be even better a year.”
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said this event attracts thousands to Hartford who will spend money in the city and see what it has to offer. The championship will also work to enhance the state’s role in national athletics.
“Connecticut is a major player for sports; that is a reality,” Malloy said, citing this event, the Olympians that came from the state, ESPN in Bristol and the forthcoming NBC Sports studios in Stamford.
“There is little question about the long-term popularity of gymnastics… there is no doubt it’s soared to new heights with the recent success in the London Olympics,” said Chuck Steedman, XL Center general manager and senior vice president.
Segarra said it is not easy to have an event such as this come back in such a short time, but it is possible with a supportive government.
“We want to fill every single seat; we want to fill every single seat in our restaurants,” he said, hoping he will have the privilege, once again, to greet patrons from across the country.
Hartford’s selection as the 2013 championships host location makes it the first city to host the championships twice in three years, Steedman said. He added that there is no doubt that the city and the state are rapidly becoming the capital for gymnastics in the country.
USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny said it was a very easy decision to return to Hartford in 2013, given the available resources and the success in 2010.
“We want Hartford to share in the victory we had in the Olympics,” Penny said, adding that the five female gymnasts who received gold medals will serve as inspiration for young athletes in the area.
Tickets for this event went on sale Tuesday; all-session passes range in price from $125 to $395. They can be purchased through Ticketmaster.com or at the ticket office at the XL Center. Discounted tickets are also available through participating local gymnastics clubs.
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