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Skating contest wins ‘best overall’

The U.S. Figure Skating Championships held January in Spokane was named 2007’s best overall sporting event Friday by Louisville, Ky.-based SportsTravel magazine – over contenders such as Super Bowl XLI and the 2006 World Series.

“We’re in shock, needless to say,” said Toby Steward, president of Star USA, the company that organized Spokane’s winter competition. “We are blown away.”

The skating championship was among 58 finalists in 10 categories of sporting events, Steward said. In addition to best overall, the U.S. Figure Skating Championships won the best amateur event category over five other finalists.

Fans voted for finalists on the magazine’s Web site. Aside from the Super Bowl (Miami) and the World Series (St. Louis and Detroit), finalists for best overall event included the college football Fiesta Bowl national championship (Glendale, Ariz.), the winter X Games (Aspen, Colo.) and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, according to a news release.

Last year’s winner was the college football Rose Bowl national championship in Pasadena, Calif.

“This is Spokane’s award. Spokane deserves it,” Steward said. “Everybody came out in force, from the business support to the elected officials’ support to the spectator support.”

Spokane set the ticket sales record for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships with 154,893 sold, according to past reports in The Spokesman-Review.


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