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Premier Skate Event Is Coming to L.A.

Pivotal to the Olympics, the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships will be at Staples Center rink, sources say.

April 15, 2006|Helene Elliott | Times Staff Writer

Several sources in the skating industry said Friday that Los Angeles has been chosen as the site of the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships, which will determine the number of berths allotted to each national skating federation for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

A bid with Staples Center as its hub was one of three finalists for the event, which rotates among international regions. The other finalists were Cleveland and Spokane, Wash.

David Gilbert, chief executive of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, said someone "within the figure skating community" told his group that Los Angeles had won. "That's our understanding," he said.

The Spokane bid committee said in a news release that U.S. Figure Skating officials had said the Pacific Northwest city had not been chosen. The Spokane committee did not say which city had won.

Michael Roth, a spokesman for Staples Center and its parent corporation, AEG, said he expected an announcement of the winning city to be made next week by executives of U.S. Figure Skating. Bob Dunlop, who visited each candidate city in his capacity as U.S. Figure Skating's assistant executive director of events and athlete resources, did not return messages Friday.

Staples Center was the main arena for the 2002 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. The total attendance of 125,345 at that event was the largest ever for the U.S. championships.

The U.S. last played host to the world championships in 2003 at the MCI Center in Washington. The 2007 competition will be in Tokyo, and Gothenburg, Sweden, will play host to the 2008 competition.

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