September 14, 2023

U.S. Figure Skating Championships Coming to Nationwide Arena in January

Early next year, Columbus will break new ground as a destination for marquee sporting events when Nationwide Arena hosts the 2024 Prevagen U.S. Figure Skating Championships. It’s the first time in Columbus for the 110-year-old event.

For seven days starting Jan. 22, the country’s top skaters will compete in the final chance to qualify for the 2024 U.S. World and World Junior teams. In recent years, Columbus skating fans have enjoyed past Olympic stars in productions like Disney on Ice and Stars on Ice. The national championships, by contrast, bring the opportunity to see the rising stars who could dominate in Italy’s 2026 Olympic games and beyond.

Jesse Ghiorzi, spokesman for the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, likens it to the high-level college football Columbus enjoys, thanks to the Ohio State Buckeyes: “These athletes are already elite, but many of them will go on to even greater success.”

Knowing that the championships typically attract the casually curious along with the seasoned fan, the U.S. Figure Skating organization created “Figure Skating 101,” a guide to the rules and elements of competition along with some history and video of recent highlights.

Landing the event “is a huge win for us,” Ghiorzi said, “especially in January, when things are relatively quiet.” The commission anticipates $15 million in visitor spending from the 400-plus athletes, coaches, officials and journalists who will attend along with thousands of fans.

Big names to watch include 16-year-old Isabeau Levito, the 2023 U.S. figure skating national champion, and the ice-dancing team of Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who are the reigning world champions and won the silver medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Although every major sporting event that comes to town is an opportunity for Columbus to show off its talents and attractions the figure skating championships with their mix of athleticism and artistry, create additional openings for community collaborations. A grant from the Greater Columbus Arts Commission will support an exhibition of local artists’ work during the event. And when Levito takes the ice during the 2024 season, she’ll be wearing a costume designed by 2022 Columbus College of Art & Design grad Austin Tootle.

Ghiorzi expects the week of the championship and weeks leading up to it to be filled with special events designed to build excitement. “Community partners are so important” to promoting special sports events, he said. “They can sponsor events like the recent learn-to-skate session hosted by the Chiller group plus parties, receptions and happy hours.”

The famously collaborative “Columbus Way” is a powerful tool for the Commission in wooing sports events. “I think I sometimes take it for granted,” Ghiorzi said. “It’s so easy to pick up the phone — ‘Can we say you’ll work with us on something?’ — it’s a really big arrow in Columbus’ quiver.”

Along with the hardcore figure-skating fans who attend every national championship, the event is likely to attract those who catch it on the Olympics every four years and want to see it in person. Ghiorzi promises an experience beyond watching skaters on television: “The athleticism, the physicality, the speed and force are incredible in person.”

Tickets are available for single sessions through the week along with packages for the championship finals on the weekend. A “Skating Spectacular” featuring all athletes will close out the event on Sunday night.

For tickets and all event information, visit

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