Thursday, March 31, 2016

Just how big is the World Figure Skating Championships for Boston?

By Zachary Baru

This week, all eyes are on Boston in the world of figure skating, as TD Garden hosts a valuable, international event not just for the venue, but for the city as a whole.  The 2016 World Figure Skating Championships came to TD Garden Wednesday, and will continue through Sunday as Boston finds itself on the world's stage for this prestigious event.

The true value lies far beyond the traditional economic benefit from the influx of fans, as this week will be a commercial for the city to an international audience.  Additionally, after renovations completed within the last two years, the TD Garden will have a chance to show its capability of hosting large events, yet another reason to open the discussion of possible events in the venue's future.

One such event that is both due for an appearance in Boston, as well as a perfect match for the city, would be the NBA All-Star Game.  Back in 2013, the Boston Globe reported that Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck told the paper the Celtics were considering filing an application to host a future All-Star Game.  Hosting the event, of course, never became reality, yet the opportunity and potential is still there.  An event with the international appeal and magnitude of the World Figure Skating Championships is a perfect chance to showcase the venue's potential to host on the international stage.

As the World Figure Skating Championships bring worldwide attention to Boston, one of the most notable effects is economic impact within the city.  Between the estimated 90,000 spectators in Boston from all parts of the globe, to the international media presence, the economic impact of the event will benefit hotels, restaurants and retail shops throughout the city.  According to the Boston Globe, the estimated economic impact in Boston will be between $38 million and $41 million.

Boston's selection as host to the championships will be the first time the city is hosting the event, and it marks the first time the championships have been held in the United States since 2009, when the Staples Center in Los Angeles served as the host venue.  Boston, however, is no stranger to competitive skating, as the city hosted the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 2014.

So for anyone thinking that this week's World Figure Skating Championships is just another event for the city of Boston, think again.  The TD Garden finds itself front and center to the world's figure skating audience, in a truly special event for the entire city.

Source: The Boston Globe

Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at