Lawrence Cook

Joe Bonilla
Discover Albany



Jan. 16, 2020



Economic benefit estimated to be $4.1 million in direct spending

ALBANY, N.Y. (Jan. 16, 2020) – The U.S. Figure Skating’s 2020 Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships being held in Albany this week are expected to bring in over $4.1 million in direct spending from visitors to the Capital Region, according to the Destinations International (DI) Event Impact Calculator.

The event, hosted by the Skyliners Synchronized Skating Team and the Skating Club of New York, will take place at the Times Union Center from Jan. 15 through Jan. 19. Opening ceremonies will be held Thursday Jan. 16 at 12:30 p.m.

“The wonderfully refurbished Times Union Center is an exciting venue to host the 2020 Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectionals," noted Lawrence Cooke, Skyliners’ president. "We are thrilled to be hosting this event, along with The Skating Club of New York, and welcoming more than 7000 athletes, coaches and fans to Albany, New York."

The Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championship is “the biggest event for many of these skaters,” said Josh Babb, Skyliners Head Coach. This event will determine which teams from the entirety of the East coast qualify for the National Championships in Providence, R.I. next month.

Skyliners Synchronized Skating Team was founded in 2001 and has grown to be one of the largest and most awarded synchronized skating organizations in the United States. The team has won 15 National Championships, 29 Eastern Championships, and placed second at Junior Worlds in 2018, the world’s first synchronized skating medal for a Team USA Junior. In addition, Skyliners Junior won bronze at Worlds in 2019.

Synchronized skating is a team sport in which eight to 20 skaters perform a program together. There are a number of levels sectioned by skill level and age range (under age 13, and 25+) including: juvenile, junior, senior, adult, and masters.

Though not an Olympic sport yet teams are judged by the International Judging System, the same system used for figure skating competitions. Under the system, points are accumulated for a technical score and program components like skating skills, performance and interpretation; It is characterized by teamwork, speed, intricate formations and challenging step sequences.

147 teams and over 2,400 skaters have already arrived in Albany for the event. According to the DI, there is an estimated 8,000 demand of rooms among 22 different hotels in the county for this event. Additionally, there is an estimated $1.1 million in food & beverage revenue for local businesses, over $414,000 in ticket sales and activities, and over $327,000 in local tax revenue for Albany County.

A number of local businesses supporting the competing teams and their fans have posted welcome signs on their doors, especially those accommodating large groups after practices ending as late as 11 p.m.. Skaters and their families have been advised to look for these signs.

“We are delighted to be sharing our city with 2,400 skaters, 147 teams, coaches, officials and family members for the Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championship this week. This 4-day competition has filled thousands of hotel rooms with fresh faces whose time in Albany is expected to bring in an estimated $4.1 million in direct economic impact,” said Jill Delaney, president and CEO of Discover Albany.

For tickets, please visit

For the competition’s schedule of events, please visit

For more information about Discover Albany, visit




About Discover Albany. The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. was established in 1976 to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community through increased development of conventions and tourism. Today, the organization is known as Discover Albany. Discover Albany currently represents more than 300 member businesses and assists each year in hundreds of regional meetings. Discover Albany also operates the Discover Albany Visitors Center, Henry Hudson Planetarium, and the Albany International Airport Information Center.  The Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau Foundation was established in 1993 to provide educational opportunities and work with other organizations to secure grants and funding to advance regional travel and tourism projects.  For more information, call 518-434-1217 or 800-258-3582 or visit