Synchronized skating event expected to bring big bucks to Wichita


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The ice at Intrust Bank Arena will serve a different purpose come Wednesday.

Normally used for the Wichita Thunder hockey team, it will serve as the place for synchronized skaters.

The 2018 Midwestern & Pacific Coast Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships is set to bring 160 teams and 2,500 skaters from across the country for five days.

Those competing will range in age from 7 to 70.

Winners from the event will get a chance to compete in the championships next month in Portland, Oregon.

Bob Hanson, the President of the Wichita Area Sports Commission, is serving as a co-chairman for the sectionals.

He says the event is set to give an economic boost for Wichita.

“I think it is around two to three million dollars it would impact our community right now, there are a lot of hotel rooms being used, there are a lot of restaurants being used and transportation, people flying in here,” said Hanson.

Hanson is hopeful it will also drum up some interest for the sport here in Wichita.

“To create an interest in skating, you know, in synchronized skating, we are looking to bring it into the community,” said Hanson.

The event has some business owners excited for what they anticipate to be a pretty busy week.

Natasha Gandhi-Rue owns The Kitchen at Union Station with her husband.

She says her restaurant will be responsible for feeding four of the teams that are coming to town.

“We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls, inquiries, and so forth and we’ve got quite a few reservations on our books,” said Gandhi-Rue.

Something she says is a plus, during a time of year when she says business is a little slower.

“Really thankful that the city of Wichita is bringing and giving us exposure to these types of events,” said Gandhi-Rue.

Skating fans, like Tommye Fisher, say they are excited to see an event like this come to Wichita.

“I think it’d be great, I love watching them, because they just get in a tune with each other, ” said Fisher.

Tickets are still available for those looking to go to the event. Regular admission tickets for one day run $25.

If you are looking to go for the full, five days, that would cost $65. The event will wrap up on Sunday, January 28th.

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