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  1. #41
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    So sad to see figure skating is dying in U.S. Although I like Kurt, Kate and Ilia, Evan is the biggest draw for me, without him, I'll skip this year's SOI.

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    Only 10 cities. And no DC this year. That's typically a well-attended show. Wow.

  3. #43
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    This makes me so sad. I'm a huge SOI fan and have gone every year since 1995. At least my show will be one this year's the 10 cities, but so so sad.

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    Evan is no longer with IMG, he switched to CAA. It might also explain the money issues causing his withdrawal from Skate America. I wouldn't be surprised if CAA makes a big money demand before Nationals, and then pulls him from the competition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by operagirl View Post
    Evan is no longer with IMG, he switched to CAA. It might also explain the money issues causing his withdrawal from Skate America. I wouldn't be surprised if CAA makes a big money demand before Nationals, and then pulls him from the competition.
    Neither is Ilia Kulik with IMG... Anyway, I think they must have invited Evan as he as the US Olympic champion is a huge draw. If Evan is thinking of competing in Nationals, he surely could not say yes, because succeeding at the Nationals means he will be at the Worlds team.

    Huh??? I have understood that in US Nationals no money has been payed for competitors and doubt very much that Evan´s agent is demanding it now.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by love skating View Post
    This makes me so sad. I'm a huge SOI fan and have gone every year since 1995. At least my show will be one this year's the 10 cities, but so so sad.

    Same here. We've been attending SOI since 1993. I can't believe there isn't a show for the metro NY area. No Florida shows (there used to be at least 4). We are lucky to live within a reasonable driving distance from Philly, Pa, so our plan is to attend the Hershey show. Such a good cast, but such a lousy economy, and so many loyal fans left out in the cold again. Just devastated over this news.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaana View Post
    Neither is Ilia Kulik with IMG... .
    Ilia is not with IMG? I thought he and Katia both were long time IMG clients. Is he with an agency?

  8. #48

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    Did Johnny's public battle with SOI (and Smuckers) help bring it down?

    Kurt Browning sure is a step in the right direction- but is it too late?

    (SOI hasn't been to St Louis since the after Olympics tour)

    Why do other Countries have such great shows?

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolla5501 View Post
    It's about time they put Ryan in... Scott's been saying for years he is a "showman" Time to put thier money where thier mouth was
    Right. I'm sure that Scott is also 'saving a spot' for Alisa "The Skater Who ALL of America Loves" Czisny. The question is -- Will that knock-out Joannie or Sasha?

    B&A's departure is a big bummer. Ditto Weiss.

    Not surprised that DC is no longer a stop. Audiences not-so-great in last 2 yrs. It's hard to notice all of the empty seats when sitting along the ice (in front) but, yes, there were lots of empty seats. I am guessing that DC may be added during the next post-Olympics tour.
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

  10. #50

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    Ilia is not with IMG? I thought he and Katia both were long time IMG clients. Is he with an agency?
    Katia is a long time IMG client. Ilia has never been an IMG client. He started with William Morris in NYC many years ago (right after Nagano) and for a good many years has been with a terrific agent who split off from Wm. Morris in LA and created his own agency.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by centerpt1 View Post
    Did Johnny's public battle with SOI (and Smuckers) help bring it down?
    Doubt it. I can see where Smucker's might have been annoyed by the whole thing, but they certainly aren't the first company to rethink their sponsorships of sports and entertainment events. Skate Canada has lost title sponsors several times in the last couple of years, and even huge, established events are seeing their long time sponsors back out, like the Masters (golf). I can't imagine that this had much of an effect on ticket sales - Johnny was never in the show in the first place, and I imagine Mrs Average Ticket Buyer and Her Family didn't even hear about it.

    Either way, aside from Kurt, the real draw and foundation of SOI was always the ladies. They always had ladies who were world and Olympic champions, and placed them at the centre of the show.

    I think the beginning of the end was Tara. They tried so hard to turn her into the next star of the show, but it just didn't happen. The year they dragged back Katarina and did the "Gold" theme just told me that they were clinging to their old formula, not adapting with the times, and not in touch what audiences were interested in. In the 90s SOI was such a tight-knit family that I fear they became too insulated and lost their relevance to the broader ticket-buying audience.

    Ticket prices and economic concerns are certainly a factor for many, but that's only in the past 3 years or so, and SOI's downfall began well before that.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by centerpt1 View Post
    Did Johnny's public battle with SOI (and Smuckers) help bring it down?
    Unlikely.
    Quote Originally Posted by centerpt1 View Post
    Why do other Countries have such great shows?
    It's cyclical.
    3539 and counting.

    Slightly Wounding Banana list cont: MacMadame.

  13. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    I think the beginning of the end was Tara. They tried so hard to turn her into the next star of the show, but it just didn't happen. The year they dragged back Katarina and did the "Gold" theme just told me that they were clinging to their old formula, not adapting with the times, and not in touch what audiences were interested in. In the 90s SOI was such a tight-knit family that I fear they became too insulated and lost their relevance to the broader ticket-buying audience.

    Ticket prices and economic concerns are certainly a factor for many, but that's only in the past 3 years or so, and SOI's downfall began well before that.
    I think the problem post-98 wasn't so much Tara but declining interest in skating in general, esp pro skating. Plus ticket prices kept going up, which shut out more and more. Tara hurt SOI in that she was injured and couldn't perform at the level fans and the show mgmt expected. Then Kristi retired from touring and there wasn't a top U.S. female skater in the cast. If Michelle Kwan had won gold in 02 and joined SOI, I'm sure the tour would have continued to be very profitable.

    Yes, the "Gold" theme was bad, but I don't remember a huge drop-off in attendance and tour stops the following year. A decline had already started, and got worse over time, but there's no reason to think with more star power and more interest in skating, SOI couldn't have overcome one bad theme.

    I've been going since 1994, except for a couple times in those years, and I did notice a drop-off in the quality of skating as well as the choreo, starting after 98, but I don't think that was due solely to Tara (and I am not a Tara fan). I believe there were some changes to the creative team, and their budget probably decreased as ticket sales decreased.

    And in some years, the skating talent just wasn't there. Scott, Paul, Kurt, Katarina, Kristi, G/G (and then Katia solo) were incredibly talented show skaters that could reach an audience. And they complemented each other with their different styles. As they gradually retired (or stopped touring at least full-time), SOI has had a hard time finding skaters at the same level of creativity and showmanship. There have been some, but not enough to fill a cast.

  14. #54
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    Debbie, I agree with a lot of what you say. There certainly was a decline in interest, and we've been over that ground many times here on FSU. One thing that we've discussed is that it wasn't so much of a decline as a return to normal, after a period of unusually high interest in skating that followed the Tonya/Nancy scandal and the high number of American ice princesses, not to mention gold medallists like Scott and Brian.

    The problem is that I think many just jumped on that bandwagon - SOI included - and rode the money train without much thought for long term business strategy, and indeed the sport itself. I'm sure salaries were high in those days, and the show producers made a lot of money, and more power to them. However, it seems less time was spent on investing in the future, cultivating audiences and markets, and planning for the long term.

    "Gold" was symbolic for me - it was elitist I felt, very much "look how special we are" and looking inward instead of outward to the audience they were about to start losing due to interest and economics. Tara's missing many performances didn't help because much of the marketing strategy was centred around her, so whether you were a fan or not, when she didn't show up it felt like a disappointment and less of a show.

    Bringing back Katarina and Scott, much as I respect their legacy and abilities, said to me that SOI had run out of ideas, and that they were completely out of touch with what was current in skating. Instead of bringing back old stars, they should have been cultivating new ones, who would now be headlining the tour. Kurt can't skate forever.

  15. #55
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    No Boston stop!!! What a bummer! I don't even understand that as the Boston show is usually very well attended.
    10 stops really looks kind of pathetic, I wonder why they didn't just fold it in.

  16. #56

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    Really sad! I live in Hartford, and less than 10 years ago, I would go to more than one show, and had a list of options (Hartford, Boston, Providence, Worcester, Bridgeport, Albany, and Newark, with Portland ME as a backup (longest drive @ 4 hrs). NJ was the next longest at 2 hrs. And there would be COI too!
    Attendance has been less and less each year. So many things have to led to this as others mentioned, no strategy, planning, and just milking the 90s and Kwan era.
    I might consider going to Portland, but it is a 4 hr drive on a Friday, outside of Boston, and not sure if I can get out of work early enough - March is a busy time.
    Maybe Hershey???
    (Note on SOI and Boston - sometimes SOI was there the same weekend as Ice Chips, which seemed not the best idea).

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by smurfy View Post
    (Note on SOI and Boston - sometimes SOI was there the same weekend as Ice Chips, which seemed not the best idea).
    Yes, last year they were on the same day. Really stupid on the part of both shows, in my opinion.

    Living in Boston, my only choice is Portland and I doubt I can make it there. The show's on a Friday and there's no way that I can drive up there after work in Friday night traffic in time for the show Portland is a really, really strange choice given the number of fans in the greater Boston area vs. Maine. If they found the downtown Boston arenas too expensive, they could have gone with Worcester, like they did a few years ago.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by milanessa View Post
    They've always had 4 stops (5 at one time) in Florida and now nothing.
    Join the Club......nothing in Texas for 2-3 years now. Sometimes they are scheduled for Houston &/or Dallas & SUDDENTLY.......BAM, they cancel.

  19. #59
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    Well if you want to buy internet presale tickets the code SKATE works for me. But I'm not buying yet. I think I'd rather buy a Kindle than a ticket to SOI.

  20. #60
    what a glorious day!
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    So. The show will be in ten cities. It's a bummer that it is not more spread out across the country. But looking at the cast and the new direction it has taken, with Kurt at the creative helm, I can't help but be excited to see it.

    Pittsburgh, here we come!

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