Jacksonville set to host 2016 National Championships
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2014
Jacksonville selected as host for 2016 USA Curling National Championships
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Curling is coming to Florida! Jacksonville has been selected as the site for the 2016 USA Curling National Championships.
This will be the first time that a curling national championship will take place in the Sunshine State. The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena will serve as the venue for the event, which will be staged Feb. 6-13, 2016. The arena has a 14,000 seating capacity with 6,000 being utilized for the curling championship. The arena has hosted numerous concerts and major sporting events since it opened in 2004, including NCAA men's basketball competitions.
"We extend a warm welcome to a cool sport," said Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown. "Jacksonville has become a premier venue and destination for a wide range of major sporting events, and we're honored to have the 2016 curling national championships in our city. We look forward to hosting America's top curling teams as well as their fans from far and wide."
The weeklong national championships feature the top 20 men's and women's teams competing for the chance to represent the U.S. at the 2016 world championships.
Florida is currently home to one active curling club - the Panthers Curling Club in Coral Springs, Fla., and Jacksonville has a very enthusiastic fan base of people hoping to start a club in the area.
"This decision was made based upon a very strong bid from the various partners in Jacksonville, as well as many, many meetings between USA Curling and Jacksonville that have convinced all of us that this is a good move for many reasons," said Rick Patzke, USA Curling chief operating officer. "In the past year, curling has landed on island shores (Hawaii) and drawn thousands of followers to the desert (Las Vegas), so the seeds are sown for this to be a strategic opportunity to both grow the sport and the National Championships in a welcoming environment."
Beginning in 2009, the national championships have been hosted in an arena setting to allow for greater marketing of the competition. Since then the event has been hosted in Denver, Kalamazoo, Mich., Fargo, N.D. (2011, as well as 2013 for the Olympic Team Trials), Philadelphia (2012, 2014), and Green Bay, Wis. The 2015 Nationals will once again be hosted by Kalamazoo. The IceWorks Arena in Philadelphia sold out the final day of competition both times it hosted the event.
USA Curling is sponsored by AtomAmpd, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Sitrin, and The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, BalancePlus, and is partnered with Hilton HHonors, United Airlines, RJM Licensing Inc., and CurlingZone.
For more information: Terry Kolesar, Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office).