INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The best in men’s and women’s gymnastics will again take center stage in Philadelphia when Global Spectrum’s Liacouras Center at Temple University plays host to the 2006 American Cup, one of the most prestigious international gymnastics events, on March 4. The American Cup has a legacy of showcasing the top international gymnasts, and next year will be no different.

For 2006, the American Cup returns to its traditional format featuring the all-around competition. Competition on Saturday, March 4, begins at 11:30 a.m. Tickets for the 2006 American Cup are expected to go on sale by mid-November; tickets will be available through the Liacouras Box Office and its Web site, local gymnastics clubs and online at Competition on March 4 will be televised live on NBC Sports at 1 p.m. ET.
“We are excited about returning to Philadelphia and the Liacouras Center,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Philadelphia has been a great city for us in the past, and next year fans will have an excellent opportunity to see the world’s top gymnasts as they continue on the path to Beijing in 2008.”
The 2001 U.S. Championships were held at the Liacouras Center, and both the 2003 and the 2004 T.J. Maxx Tour of Gymnastics Champions had stops in Philadelphia.
“We are thrilled to welcome USA Gymnastics back to the Liacouras Center,” said Global Spectrum Regional Vice President and Liacouras Center General Manager Neil Sulkes. “It’s truly an honor to host an international gymnastics competition such as the American Cup and for us to showcase the Liacouras Center to a national audience.”
The athletes competing in the American Cup will be announced closer to the event.
The 2006 American Cup will also be the first international event in the United States and one of the first in the world to use the new scoring system for gymnastics. Beginning in January 2006, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) is instituting a scoring system that now allows gymnasts to earn scores above the traditional 10.0.
“This is a unique period for international gymnastics because the sport is experiencing unprecedented change in the way that it is scored,” said Penny. “The new FIG Code will be getting its first test at a major event in the United States at the 2006 American Cup.”
Former American Cup all-around gold medalists are a veritable who’s who of gymnastics: men — Jason Gatson, Blaine Wilson, John Roethlisberger, Vitaly Scherbo (Belarus), Tim Daggett, Peter Vidmar, Mitsuo Tsukahara (Japan), Kurt Thomas and Bart Conner; and women — Carly Patterson, Elena Zamolodchikova (Russia), Kerri Strug, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Kim Zmeskal, Kristie Phillips, Mary Lou Retton, Julianne McNamara, Stella Zakarova (USSR) and Nadia Comaneci (Romania). In 2005, the American Cup was a World Cup event and its format named individual event champions; the USA’s Alexander Artemev, Alicia Sacramone, Chellsie Memmel and Nastia Liukin won gold medals.
The American Cup was first held in 1976. Past sites include: New York City (1976-80, 1982-84, 2004); Ft. Worth Texas (1981, 1996-98); Indianapolis, Ind. (1985); Fairfax, Va. (1986-90, 2003); Orlando, Fla. (1991-94, 2000-02); Seattle, Wash. (1995); St. Petersburg, Fla. (1999); and Uniondale, N.Y. (2005).
Global Spectrum, the fastest growing firm in the public assembly facility management field with more than 45 facilities throughout the United States and Canada, manages the Liacouras Center. The Philadelphia-based company is part of one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment firm Comcast-Spectacor, which also owns the Wachovia Center and Wachovia Spectrum; the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League; the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association; the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League; Flyers Skate Zone, a series of community ice skating rinks; Comcast SportsNet, a regional sports programming network; Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage services provider; New Era Tickets, a full-service ticketing and marketing product for public assembly facilities; and Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company. Comcast-Spectacor owns three minor league baseball teams – the Bowie Baysox, the Delmarva Shorebirds and the Frederick Keys – all affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles.