PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia and USA Gymnastics today formally confirmed their partnership to host the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pa., from June 19-22. USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny, Legendary Gymnastics Coach Bela Karolyi, and the Philadelphia Local Organizing Committee made the announcement today in Signers’ Hall at the National Constitution Center. This will be the first time the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics will be held in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Local Organizing Committee consists of Comcast-Spectacor, owner and operator of the Wachovia Center; the Philadelphia Sports Congress and its Olympic & International Sports Project; City of Philadelphia; Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia Convention && Visitors Bureau; and the area gymnastics community.

“This is great news for Philadelphia and for our hot hospitality and tourism sector. Last summer, we made a serious run for the 2016 Olympic Games that helped firmly place Philadelphia on the Olympic community’s radar,” said Mayor John F. Street, City of Philadelphia. “The selection of Philadelphia by USA Gymnastics for its 2008 Olympic Team Trials helps further solidify our reputation as a world-class city with world-class amenities and reinforces Philadelphia’s position as a player on the global stage.”

“The 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for gymnastics is going to be a tremendous showcase for the Olympic movement prior to the Beijing Olympic Games,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “We are proud to partner with Philadelphia and the Wachovia Center to bring this prestigious event to the City of Brotherly Love. We know the spirit of the people, the renewed vibrancy of the city, and the deep spirit of patriotism will be a perfect backdrop for the selection of our U.S. team. Philadelphia has proven to be a strong supporter of gymnastics events in the past, and we are confident this will be a successful event.”

“Philadelphia is going to be a great host for our country’s best gymnasts,” said Bela Karolyi, legendary gymnastics coach. “The talent in this country is incredible, and Philadelphia will have a front row seat for some of the best gymnastics ever competed.”

“We are very proud of Philadelphia’s longstanding relationship with USA Gymnastics, in hosting many of their elite events, including the 2001 U.S. Championships and the 2006 Tyson American Cup,” said Larry Needle, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Sports Congress, a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The trials will be a huge coup for the region.”

“The Wachovia Center is the perfect facility for the Olympic Trials, and we’re very excited to provide the venue to USA Gymnastics and their fans,v said Global Spectrum Chief Operating Officer John Page, whose company operates and manages the 21,000-seat arena. “In 10 short years, the Wachovia Center has hosted nearly every major sporting event and this will be the crown jewel of them all – the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for gymnastics.”

“Our Olympic bid efforts served as a great launching pad for Philadelphia to bring more Olympic sporting events to this region, and build on our reputation as an Olympic partner,” said Joseph M. Torsella, co-chair of the Sports Congress’s Olympic & International Sports Project. “The Olympic Trials is one of the premier events in the Olympic family and will help to further raise Philadelphia’s profile as a premier Olympic sports town.”

The USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show, a forum for up to 2,000 coaches and club owners from around the country, is held in conjunction with the event. The National Congress, which focuses on gymnastics excellence through educational seminars and a trade show, will take place June 17-22. The Philadelphia Marriott and Pennsylvania Convention Center will serve as the Congress meeting site.

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for all sports is a collaborative, three-way partnership between the U.S. Olympic Committee, the National Governing Bodies and the Local Organizing Committees.

Philadelphia boasts an impressive track record of hosting many premier sporting events, including the 2005 and 2006 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships, 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 2002 NBA All-Star Game, 2001 U.S. Gymnastics Championships, 2001 and 2002 ESPN X Games, 2000 NCAA Women’s Final Four and the 1998 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.


USA Gymnastics
Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for the sport of gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport.
For more information about USA Gymnastics and its programs, access USA Gymnastics online at
Philadelphia Sports Congress (PSC)
The Philadelphia Sports Congress (PSC), a division of the Philadelphia Convention && Visitors Bureau,, seeks to attract major sporting events and conventions to the Philadelphia area. The Sports Congress, working in conjunction with the City of Philadelphia, the city’s professional teams and universities, has attracted many events to the city and is currently working on bids for future sporting events. The Philadelphia Sports Congress operates the Army/Navy Game on behalf of the City of Philadelphia.
Wachovia Center
The Wachovia Center, one of the nation’s most premier facilities, has already hosted the l996 World Cup of Hockey, the l997 Stanley Cup Finals, the 1998 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, l999 American Hockey League All-Star Game, the 200