2016 figure skating qualifier comes to St. Paulby Sasha Aslanian, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesotans will get a close look at the top U.S. figure skaters likely to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
The Xcel Energy Center announced Wednesday it will host the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 2016. The event is the final qualifier for the U.S. World Figure Skating Team.
The event is an opportunity to see the country's best skaters, said Xcel Energy Center VP and General Manager Jack Larson. Skaters could be among those competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
"You're starting to see what skaters are starting to step up to be in the international spotlight in figure skating and the U.S. has always had good strong both men's and women's teams," Larson said.
Parts of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships will be broadcast on NBC. The eight-day event is expected to bring crowds to downtown St. Paul. The last time the event came to St. Paul was in 2008.
"The hotels, bars, restaurants are filled up for that week when they're here so it's a really good event," Larson said. "It's international impact from the TV aspect, so it's a really big event for us."