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  1. #1
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    Skating events held in Chicago

    Having just seen a thread title about Boston hosting nationals in 2014, I started to wonder about the last time the Chicago area hosted a Skate America, nationals, or other big event. When was the last time it happened?

    While Chicago may not have the prestige of Colorado for skating history, I do think it has some recent ties to big names. From what I understand, Oleg Vasiliev trained Totmianina/Marininin in Bensenville, a Chicago suburb; Evan Lysacek lived in Naperville, another suburb, until 2003; Gracie Gold trains in two area rinks; and so on.

    Chicago has cold winters, is the third-biggest city in the U.S., and has hosted skating shows, so I'm a bit surprised that it hasn't seemed to host any prominent USFSA events for a long time. What gives? Does the USFSA have some grudge against it? Does it not like giving events to cities not on either coast? Does Chicago not have an available, appropriate venue?

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    Working out a schedule when both the Black Hawks and Bulls are not at the United Center for nearly two weeks would not be easy.

    I've never been to the United Center recently, but I've heard it is not in the greatest repair either. I don't believe there are many hotels particularly close to the arena, so good transportation would also come into play.
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    Eh, they could hold it at the Sears Centre or Allstate Arena.

    http://www.searscentre.com/

    http://www.allstatearena.com/

    From what I understand, a local skating club must bid for the event, and obviously none of the clubs in the area wants the hassle of bidding for and organizing Nationals.
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    I know this is not what you are speaking about, but they have hosted non-ISU competitions in the recent past. US Adult Nationals (800+ starts) in 2007 and 2012, for example.

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    Milwaukee is only 90 miles up the road from Chicago. We do have the Bucks, for now, and a minor league hockey team that play at the main arena. But there is a 2nd arena, U.S. Cellular, that seats ~9500 when configured for soccer. That's slightly bigger than the arena that's hosting worlds this season, iirc.

    There's PLENTY of rinks for practicing, including a certain Olympic Training Center.

    It's way cheaper than Chicago, the downtown, 3rd ward and eastside are very compact making the city as pedestrian friendly as American cities get. Well, pedestrian friendly so long as it there's not a blizzard.
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    They hosted Regionals a few years back. But no LOC (of which there are just two here: DuPage, and then all the other clubs which when combined make up the Skating Council of IL and host big events as a group) has bid on Nationals in forever. We do certainly have plenty of ice and hotels.
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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    ...then all the other clubs which when combined make up the Skating Council of IL and host big events as a group...
    I totally did not know about this!

    What are the incentives to host high profile ISU events?

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    Being from the chicagoland area, I would love to see more major skating events in Chicago/suburbs. Not that I'd necessarily go, but at least I'd have the option. Going slightly off topic, but does Vasiliev still train in Chicago at all? Or is he permanently in St. Petersburg?

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    According to Wikipedia, nationals were last held in Chicago in 1946, and Chicago has never hosted Skate America. I'm not a skater myself nor into every detail of the sport, but my impression is that there isn't one standout skating club in the Chicagoland area that is a standout or really vibrant or ritzy enough to push for an event. I wonder if things will ever change.

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    DuPage FSC is one of the largest and "name" clubs in the U.S. (Lysacek still represents them) - I wonder why they don't seem to bid to host major events?

    Quote Originally Posted by lulu View Post
    Going slightly off topic, but does Vasiliev still train in Chicago at all?
    Yes, he still coaches in the area - see this recent article posted in the "Obscure Asian/European Skaters" thread: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...18#post3663918
    Last edited by Sylvia; 09-22-2012 at 04:47 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    DuPage FSC is one of the largest and historic clubs in the U.S. (Lysacek still represents them) - I wonder why they don't seem to bid to host major events?


    Yes, he still coaches in the area - see this recent article posted in the "Obscure Asian/European Skaters" thread: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...18#post3663918
    Thank you so much! I remember reading about Ami Parekh years ago.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    DuPage FSC is one of the largest and "name" clubs in the U.S. (Lysacek still represents them) - I wonder why they don't seem to bid to host major events?
    I don't know a lot about the clubs in the area, but the DuPage Open has seemed a little disorganized when I've attended, even from a spectator's standpoint. Maybe they don't have anyone right now who's really into planning events.

    The Skating Council of IL events usually seem more organized to me, but they have so many. They do an Illinois Grand Prix all summer long, and I'm not even sure what else, but I'd imagine that they have their hands full.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jem X View Post
    Eh, they could hold it at the Sears Centre or Allstate Arena.

    http://www.searscentre.com/
    I went to some cheesefest at the Sears Center a while back. It's in the middle of nowhere. Apartment buildings and sub-divisions galore but no restaurants except for the hotel that I saw. There is a Marriott but I'd imagine that would be the official hotel - most fans would have to stay elsewhere and drive. And even though the Marriott was close you had to walk across a vacant field area strewn with concrete and other debris. The hotel did offer a shuttle (car not bus) at $5 bucks a person to take you about 200 yards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by milanessa View Post
    I went to some cheesefest at the Sears Center a while back. It's in the middle of nowhere. Apartment buildings and sub-divisions galore but no restaurants except for the hotel that I saw. There is a Marriott but I'd imagine that would be the official hotel - most fans would have to stay elsewhere and drive. And even though the Marriott was close you had to walk across a vacant field area strewn with concrete and other debris. The hotel did offer a shuttle (car not bus) at $5 bucks a person to take you about 200 yards.
    I was just out near the Sears Centre a few weeks ago, for the first time since a show in 2008 or so. The area has been built up with a large outdoor mall, restaurants, etc. Not sure if there are more hotels nearby, though, or just the one. It's still kind of in the middle of nowhere, compared to the rest of the city, though.

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    I wonder if they could put an ice surface down at UIC Arena? The US Classic gymnastics meet has been there the last few years, and it's the perfect size for a GP event.
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    Seems like venue is not the main issue. It's rather lack of motivation or resources for DuPage / Skating Council of IL to get into it. Really, what motivates a club to bid on major ISU events?

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    Quote Originally Posted by emilieh View Post
    I was just out near the Sears Centre a few weeks ago, for the first time since a show in 2008 or so. The area has been built up with a large outdoor mall, restaurants, etc. Not sure if there are more hotels nearby, though, or just the one. It's still kind of in the middle of nowhere, compared to the rest of the city, though.
    Good to know there's more there now. Thanks.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjane45 View Post
    Seems like venue is not the main issue. It's rather lack of motivation or resources for DuPage / Skating Council of IL to get into it. Really, what motivates a club to bid on major ISU events?
    I think having a skater with a chance to do well at such an event has to be a huge motivation for the club.

    Maybe having directors who want to move up the totem pole at USFSA is another reason?
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    I would vote for Allstate Arena, if I had such a vote. It is very close to O'Hare, so air travel and hotels are within easy reach, as is public transit.

    Just my observation, however, I don't live in Chicago, although have been there for business and personal reasons many times and love the town!

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    Dupage did host 2002 Junior Nationals, if remember right. It was my first time at a "national" event.
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    As a skater from the Chicagoland area, I always have to travel elsewhere for competitions. I would love it if we could host one out here. I think people from all over the country would be happy to attend an event in Chicago as it would be a refreshingly new place to host an event. Let's get some skating events out here!

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