SAN JOSE (KCBS) – San Jose has been selected to host the nation’s most prestigious figure skating event, the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

The event at HP Pavilion is expected to draw 150,000 people from around the world to San Jose in January and bring some $27 million into the city.

“It’s going to fill up restaurants, all of the hotels. People are going to be watching it on TV. It is one of the best sporting events that we could possibly host in San Jose,” said Scott Knies, executive director of the San Jose Downtown Association.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

City officials estimate the championships will generate $2 million in tax revenue at a time when many businesses see a slump, in the weeks after Christmas.

The last time San Jose hosted the event in 1996, when a local skater completed a rags to riches tale to win the men’s championship in his hometown.

“Rudy Galindo gave his Cinderella performance and became the national champion right here,” said Patricia Ernstrom, executive director of the San Jose Sports Authority.

Five pillars outside the Pavilion commemorate the achievement of Galindo and four other top skaters. Peggy Fleming, Kristi Yamaguchi, Debbie Thomas and Brian Boitano all hail from San Jose.

“We have an incredible legacy of skating here,” Ernstrom said.

The U.S. Figure Skating Championships take place from Jan. 22 – 29 at HP Pavilion.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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