National Speedskating Competition to take place at PW Ice Center.

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Prince William -More than 1,000 visitors from across the country will come to Prince William County January 25 as the Prince William Ice Center hosts a national speedskating competition.

Located in Woodbridge, the ice center was selected to host the U.S. Junior National Short-Track Skeedskating Championship for the second year in row because of its proximity to area airports, Olympic-sized rink and its capacity to hold a large number of spectators, officials with the competition said.

“We are thrilled the speedskating community wanted to return to Prince William this year for its national event,” Discover Prince William & Manassas Executive Director Ann Marie Maher said. “Not only are we an easily accessible and affordable location, but we have a wealth of hotels and venues, like the ice center, that can accommodate sporting events. “

The speedskating tournament is just one of the types of sporting events Discover Prince William & Manassas hopes to bring to the community in the future. Because sports tourism is a growing segment of the tourism industry, Discover Prince William & Manassas has created a sports tourism task force to better tap into the sports market. The 20-member group is actively researching potential tournaments to bring to Prince William and Manassas and developing a plan to market to the sports industry.

 

“We recognize the economic benefits competitive sports have on local business,” Maher said. “With tournaments, come hundreds of visitors eating in our restaurants, shopping in our stores, exploring our attractions and staying in our hotels.”

 

The speedskating competition will bring more than 75 skaters plus their families, officials and volunteers from across the country. During the three-day event, skaters between the ages of 13 and 19 will vie for one of eight spots at the World Junior Shortrack Championship in Poland. The competition is also a stepping stone to the Olympics, officials with the event said, and many of the skaters have already qualified for an invitation to the U.S. Olympic trials in September.

 

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