2011 Visa Championships, National Congress & Trade Show aim to be the greenest ever
posted on 06/06/2011

SAINT PAUL, Minn., June 6, 2011 – USA Gymnastics aims to stage the greenest Visa Championships ever by endorsing an unprecedented multi-facility-wide sustainability plan and expanding the use of technology during the 2011 Visa Championships and USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show at Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul RiverCentre and The Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium Aug. 17 – 20.

The event will implement a number of initiatives focused on reducing and eliminating waste and off-setting energy usage at the facilities, including the utilization of Xcel Energy's Windsource® subscription and providing materials and information digitally to dramatically reduce paper usage. Specific details on initiatives and opportunities will be outlined closer to the 2011 Visa Championships.

"We recognize and applaud the efforts that are already in place to make Xcel Energy Center an environmentally friendly building and are committed to making this the 'greenest' Visa Championships and National Congress possible," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "USA Gymnastics can learn a great deal on how to reduce waste, implement recycling and composting, and enhance our event to make it as sustainable as possible. We have developed many digital and technology advancements over the years, and believe these can replace the common practice of photocopying and printed programs. Our plan is to deliver the event to the spectator through many avenues – from live scoring and enhanced coverage of events on our traditional and mobile websites to displaying scores and rankings throughout the venue. This is an important step for us as an organization and we are excited about working with the Xcel Energy Center and Saint Paul RiverCentre staff in achieving our goals for improved sustainability."

Jack Larson, vice president and general manager of Xcel Energy Center, said, "We are thrilled that USA Gymnastics will be the first organization to utilize Xcel Energy's Windsource® program within all three facilities and to make significant efforts to implement sustainable initiatives across our entire complex. Their legacy will be a lasting, positive impact on the community and an example for all future events to follow."

Background information

  • Windsource®. Windsource® is a voluntary renewable energy program, which allows customers to purchase renewable energy from Xcel Energy. The energy for Windsource® comes from 20 Minnesota wind farms whose output is dedicated to voluntary customers. This energy cannot be used by Xcel Energy to meet its other renewable energy mandates, meaning that Windsource® helps increase the amount of renewable energy on the grid in Minnesota. More than 20,000 homes and 250 businesses in Minnesota purchase renewable energy through Windsource®, making it one of the largest programs in the country.

  • Visa Championships. The 2011 Visa Championships, USA Gymnastics' national championships, features the country's best gymnasts vying for national titles and spots on the U.S. National Team in men's, women's and rhythmic gymnastics. Men's and women's gymnastics will be held at Xcel Energy Center, Aug. 17-20, and rhythmic gymnastics will be at Roy Wilkins Auditorium Aug. 19-20. Tickets for the four-day event are on sale now, with individual session tickets, as well as multi- and all-session ticket packages. Tickets may be purchased at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office, Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, charge by phone at 800-745-3000, online at www.ticketmaster.com. In recognition of Visa's sponsorship of USA Gymnastics, we are proud to accept only Visa at the 2011 Visa Championships, along with cash. For ticket and event information, go to www.usagym.org.

  • Xcel Energy Center. Regarded as one of the finest arenas in the world, Xcel Energy Center is home to the NHL's Minnesota Wild, the NLL's Minnesota Swarm and a multitude of premier sports and entertainment events annually. The one-of-a-kind, multi-purpose facility is located in the heart of downtown Saint Paul, owned by the City of Saint Paul and managed by Saint Paul Arena Company, an affiliate of Minnesota Sports & Entertainment.

  • Saint Paul RiverCentre. Saint Paul RiverCentre is the city's premier convention center that overlooks the bluffs of the Mississippi River. Featuring more than 250,000 square feet of versatile event space and flexible room configurations that include the Grand Ballroom and The Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium, Saint Paul RiverCentre is the preferred choice for hundreds of events each year including star-studded galas, trade shows and conventions.