INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., April 29, 2011 – USA Gymnastics has selected Orlando, Fla., as its candidate city for an official bid to host the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. The World Championships would be held at the Amway Center, which opened to rave reviews in October 2010 and is undoubtedly one of the most technologically advanced buildings in the United States. The 2015 World Championships will serve as a qualifying event for the 2016 Olympic Games, scheduled for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“Hosting the World Championships in Orlando provides a once in a lifetime experience for athletes from around the world,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Orlando has so much to offer, and combined with the resources of the entertainment industry, our goal is to create a truly magical experience for everyone.”
The proposed local organizing committee (LOC) includes the Central Florida Sports Commission, the City of Orlando, the Amway Center and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, located at the Walt Disney World Resort.
“On behalf of the City of Orlando and our citizens and business community, we want to express our excitement at the prospect of hosting this great event,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We have played host to many of the top sporting events in football, soccer and basketball. Adding the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships to that list will be an honor, and we are committed to helping present an outstanding event for the top athletes in men’s and women’s gymnastics.”
The USA last hosted the World Gymnastics Championships in 2003 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., which still remains the largest World Artistic Gymnastics Championships ever hosted. Previously, the United States also hosted the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Indianapolis (1991) and Fort Worth, Texas (1979).
“Orlando is eager to host the gymnastics world for its largest event outside the Olympics,” said Sam Stark, president & CEO of the Central Florida Sports Commission. “Our regional population is ethnically and culturally diverse, which means every country should have fans cheering them on as they pursue their gymnastics dreams. In addition, our community has experience hosting major events and we have the hotels, restaurants and area attractions to support this prestigious event.”
With a seating capacity of approximately 17,000 when configured for gymnastics, the Amway Center is equipped with a state-of-the-art center-hung video board; auxiliary boards located throughout the seating bowl; two LED ribbon boards; Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) throughout; a distributed antenna system for cellular and other radio transmissions throughout the facility; and enhanced sound and video systems. For fans, information kiosks are distributed throughout the arena, along with many concession stands, and a public bar and food court. The building boasts a total of more than 1,200 flat screen monitors throughout the building.
“The Amway Center is a very versatile building,” said Allen Johnson, director of Orlando Venues that manages the Amway Center. “We are more than capable of handling the special needs of the competition and plan to host one of the best World Championships to date.”
The host city for the World Championships will be selected during the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Council Meeting scheduled for May 17-22 in San Jose, Calif. Other cities submitting bids include Glasgow, Scotland, and Paris, France.
“Hosting the world championships is more than an opportunity – it is an honor and a privilege,” said Peter Vidmar, 1984 Olympic gold medalist and chairman of the Board for USA Gymnastics. “The U.S. takes great pride in our ability to present events at the absolute highest level, and the opportunities are limitless in a city like Orlando and a venue like the Amway Center.”