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Sports event of the year

2007 U.S. Figure Skating Championships awarded "sports event of the year"

Evan Lysacek wins top honors at 2007 US Championships
Evan Lysacek wins top honors at 2007 US Championships (Getty Images)

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(10/26/2007) - Sports Travel magazine today announced that the 2007 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships is the winner of the "Sports Event of the Year." Other finalists for the honor included Super Bowl XLI (Miami, Fla.), the 2006 World Series (St. Louis, Mo., and Detroit, Mich.), the 2007 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, Ariz.), the 2007 ESPN Winter X Games (Aspen, Colo.), the 2007 Tostitos BCS National Championship (Glendale, Ariz.) and the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.

"We are just blown away" said Toby Steward, president of Star USA and chairman of the local organizing committee for the 2007 U.S. Championships. "We were obviously hoping to win our category (Amateur Sporting Event of the Year), but to win the overall award, and to know that out of all of the events -- unbelievable events like the Super Bowl and the World Series -- Spokane's U.S. Figure Skating Championships won it all -- unbelievable."

"It is such an honor to receive this prestigious national award. I am thrilled for the entire community of Spokane because as they say, it takes a village. The entire community and, in fact, the state of Washington came together to produce the outstanding results that are now being honored."

The 2007 U.S. Championships also beat out five other finalists in the category of "Amateur Sporting Event of the Year." Last year's "Sports Event of the Year" was the 2006 Rose Bowl-BCS National Championships (Pasadena, Calif.).

Fans were asked to vote for one finalist in each of 10 categories, as well as the overall "Sports Event of the Year," by accessing the ballot on the Sports Travel magazine web site. The voting criteria were based on fans' knowledge of the event in the following areas:

The organization of and attendance at the event was superior; the event provided a superior experience for competitors and/or spectators; the site(s) or venue(s) of the event enhanced the event.

"U. S. Figure Skating is extremely proud to learn that Sports Travel magazine recognized the 2007 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships as both the 'Amateur Sporting Event of the Year' and 'Sports Event of the Year,' said Ron Hershberger, president of U.S. Figure Skating. "Spokane provided us all with a very memorable week. From the record-setting crowds to the outstanding volunteers and local leadership, Spokane has set the bar very high for future U.S. Championships host cities."

The U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held annually since 1914, is the nation's most prestigious figure skating event. The 2007 U.S. Championships shattered all previous attendance records for the event, with 154,893 tickets sold. The competition, held at both the Spokane Arena and the Spokane Convention Center, crowned a total of 12 U.S. champions in ladies, men's, pairs and ice dancing in each of the senior, junior and novice divisions.

The six finalists for Amateur Sporting Event of the Year were the 2007 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships (Spokane, Wash.), the 2006 29th NBL Grand National of BMX Racing (Louisville, Ky.), the 2006 USA Field Hockey National Hockey Festival (Indio, Calif.), the 2006-07 Disney's Soccer Showcase (Lake Buena Vista, Fla.), the 2007 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and the 2007 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships (Reno, Nev.).

Since 1997, Sports Travel magazine has served the sports-related travel and event industry. It is the only publication written and designed to serve the people who organize and manage sporting events of all types at all levels.