Hosting 2022 Skate America

Dear Member,

When the Club designed the 2,500-seat Tenley E. Albright Performance Center, it anticipated hosting many local and national competitions, and if fortunate, possibly one or two small, international events. It never anticipated that U.S. Figure Skating would consider the Club as a local host for Skate America, a prestigious Senior Grand Prix event.

Skate America is normally hosted in a facility with a minimum of 6,000 seats. But in a post-Olympic year with so many retired favorites and fresh, new talent, U.S. Figure Skating knew attendance would be more modest, and thought a more intimate arena such as the Club’s Tenley E. Albright Performance Center, would offer a fresh approach. The Center can accommodate the anticipated attendance, without sacrificing important amenities such as high-quality sound, a high-definition video board, upholstered seating, and quality food prepared on-site. Because the facility is owned and operated by The Skating Club of Boston, they also knew they could expect supportive building management, some of the best volunteers in the country and Boston’s traditionally, exceptional fan base.

Tenley E. Albright Performance Center
If you were not part of the original planning process for the Club’s new facility, you would not know that building and managing a performance center was very much a deliberate component of the Club’s strategy for the next 100 years. It is not a recent development or one taken lightly. Club leadership knew that the sport lacked enough locations and hosting organizations to meet the current demand of Figure Skating, Synchronized Skating, Theater On Ice, Showcase, Adult Skating, Collegiate Skating and more. The Club also believed it was uniquely qualified to fill this national need, while also serving its own membership. As a founding member of U.S. Figure Skating and a frequent partner on national and international events, the Club has a long tradition of national, as well as, local leadership.

Why Events Are Good for the Club and Its Membership
There are quantifiable economic advantages to owning and operating an event center that serves the Club’s membership, as well as the sport. Hosting events is one of several Club businesses the Club manages to add important operating profit to the Club, which in turn mitigates the Club’s sole reliance on membership and ice fees for revenue. It is much-needed revenue to support a facility of this quality and scope. (Other Club businesses serving a similarly important role are the Frog Pond, The Skating Academy, renting space to The Micheli Center and Home Ice, and renting ice to synchronized skating and hockey organizations.) Hosting figure-skating events also directly serves the Club’s mission, which as stated, includes advancing education and excellence in the sport. Serving the full spectrum of the Club’s mission supports and secures the Club’s status as a not-for-profit organization and the exemptions it receives from paying local property tax, state sales tax, and federal income tax. Combined, these tax savings total many hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Savings of this magnitude most certainly benefit the Club and its membership.

Planning for Skate America
Skate America is a very large undertaking, and its planning began late last year. The event hosts skaters, officials, and coaches from around the world, as well as international and national media, NBC Sports, Asahi Television of Japan and Red Brick Television, the company supplying the world broadcast feed to multiple broadcasting companies around the world. The competition and gala ice show will be broadcast by NBC Sports, on both a live and tape-delayed basis.

West Rink Operations
The West Rink has been designated for use as an international media work center, athlete warm-up area, and NBC Sports and Asahi Television catering venue. To make this happen, the ice in the West Rink will be removed beginning Sunday, October 16th, and it will not be replaced and ready for skating again until Wednesday, October 26th. During this time, the use of the West Rink will be closed to the membership.

Tenley E. Albright Performance Center Operations
The Performance Center will also be closed to the membership from Monday, October 17th, through Wednesday, October 26th. The ice will be scraped down to cover the Club logo, and then rebuilt to feature custom logos for the event and U.S. Figure Skating and International Skating Union sponsors. Building ice takes time, and work crews will work overnight as necessary, to minimize the amount of time both rinks will be closed to the membership.

East Rink Operations
The Club has obtained permission from U.S. Figure Skating to operate the East Rink throughout the set up and operation of Skate America. Given the limited capacity of a single sheet of ice to meet the needs of all the Club’s membership during this 10-day period, the Club has made the decision to prioritize ice availability for individuals and teams in active training and looking forward to upcoming competitions. These include the Eastern Sectional Singles and U.S. Dance Final, the Boston Synchronized Skating Classic, the U.S. Championships, the Eastern Sectional Synchronized Skating Championships and Nations’ Cup. Coaches, skaters and teams preparing for these events will be notified of the available opportunities in the East Rink ice schedule.

Parking at the Club
Significantly, all on-site parking at the Club and its neighbor’s lot at 846 University Avenue have been reserved for the event. Weekend passes will be sold for $180.00. (Club members who purchased all-event tickets for Skate America will be contacted directly for an advance opportunity to purchase parking passes.) The Club is providing a complimentary shuttle service for spectators, volunteers, employees and members between the Club and the University Station parking garage at 50 University Avenue from Thursday, October 20th, through Sunday, October 24th. Multiple shuttles will run on a regular basis throughout the day. Parking at the garage is $7.00 on Thursdays and Fridays, and $3.00 on Saturdays and Sundays. (The cost of parking is not reimbursable by the Club.)

Next Steps
Members who have contracted ice during all or part of the period in which the Club’s three ice surfaces are not available for use will have automatic refunds made to their Club ActiveNet accounts. If you are an individual competitive skater planning on competing at Sectionals and/or the U.S. Championships, please contact your coach about their plan for ice during Skate America. Some coaches have already made arrangements to skate elsewhere. If your coach is planning on training at the Club during this time, please contact Jon Jepson at jon.jepson@scboston.org to schedule ice at the Club. Team skaters can rest assured that their teams have made arrangements for their ice and will contact team members as appropriate.

Club members, who are not preparing for the above events and still want to skate during this time, should contact any of the area rinks for available ice. For your convenience, we have compiled a list of other facilities and their skating times and prices here.

In Conclusion
Everyone here at the Club appreciates every member’s understanding and flexibility as the Club steps forward in history to host Skate America for the first time. Thank you! The immediate inconvenience is well worth the long-term economic benefits the entire membership enjoys as a result of the Club owning and operating a world-class performance center.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email the Club office at club.info@scboston.org.

Sincerely,

Doug Zeghibe
Executive Director